22. Courage
Session 1
Spiritual Web Chat
Sat 15 Jan 2000

Ben< This is the first session of a new series. The subject is courage.

Ben< Tonight I'm taking a somewhat different approach. Instead of starting with words and their meanings, as I often do, or by presenting scenarios, I'll briefly describe a type of courage and ask you to illustrate it. Ready? Let's go ...

Ben< QUESTION 1a: One type of courage can be described as the ability to face what you fear, to go in harm's way, to enter and deal with a dangerous situation. What does this description remind you of? Do you have an example of this type of courage? YOUR TURN

windchild< Military people, fire fighters, policemen, anyone that has to deal with the possibility of physical harm.

daCrone< Defense as in war, defense as in protecting one who cannot protect self, rescue of another from a dangerous situation -- fire, auto accident -- these all seem to have a physical common denominator ... still thinking ...

Yopo< Going to war comes to mind first. Though my youthful foolishness made courage a secondary factor. *s*

daCrone< Working with unknown viruses, hazardous materials. Negotiators, perhaps ... I would be afraid to face Sadam one-on-one. If I thought it would be of benefit, could I do it anyway?

Ben< Good examples. Thanks. (I'm not going to be able to respond very often, because it's taking 70-80 seconds from the time I click "Refresh/post" until the screen is ready to read. Display = 15 lines.)

daCrone< Some of the physical examples I come up with are situations in which time is an element and instinct rather than thinking may hold sway.

Ben< This type of courage is expected of military personnel, firefighters, policemen, and rescue workers. It is also found in some people of whom it isn't expected, such as the ten-year-old boy who recently rescued several people from a burning apartment building in our area.

Lor< Ben: I am reminded of having to face possible surgery when diagnosed with a very serious disease. Such trips to hospitals take a bit of courage, methinks.

Ben< Lor: Good example. Thank you.

windchild< My mother in law died two days ago. She went home from the hospital 5 days ago knowing she was going to die. She was very courageous.

LEGS< windchild: That is an exemplary kind of courage. We often credit mothers with such, for they seem to be able to make that type of sacrifice.

windchild< Thank you.

FRAML< Ben: My answer was in line with windchild & daCrone before I was disconnected.

Ben< QUESTION 1b: In the example(s) you provided, would a person be less courageous if the anticipated danger turned out to be a false alarm? YOUR TURN

windchild< No, not at all less courageous.

daCrone< I don't think so. The perception of danger would be the same regardless

Yopo< Not in my opinion. Uncertainty itself is something that requires courage to deal with effectively. I imagine false alarms take their special toll on police, firemen, military personnel ...

Lor< Courage to face a doctor's possible scalpel is required no matter whether the doctor eventually finds it needful or not. And who says that some trips to a dentist don't involve some courage, whether or not they prove to involve pain.

FRAML< Not the less courageous. You don't know when the situation is going to be real. It shows what the person is "made of" and where their willingness is for selfless service for others.

Ben< I believe, at any point where courage is needed, it doesn't matter whether what one fears is real or imaginary.

Ben< QUESTION 2a: Another type of courage can be described as the ability to make yourself do something that is difficult for you, but not necessarily dangerous. What does this description remind you of? Do you have an example of this type of courage? YOUR TURN

Esop< Public speaking.

windchild< Courage to face yourself and accept what you find.

Esop< Competition.

LEGS< Ben: What type of courage would you say was displayed when the young black girl chose to sit on the bus in the civil rights period before Martin Luther King's speech days? Was that a solid non-fearing courage, defiant courage, or simply desperation and demonstrative courage??

windchild< LEGS: I think she was tired of being treated as if she were less than human. Rosa Parks stood up for her entire race. (I guess I should have said she sat down for her race.)

LEGS< (((Windchild))) *s*

Ben< LEGS: I would say that was the first type of courage I mentioned: facing the anticipation of danger, possible harm.

LEGS< OK, Ben, I see that ... yes, it would be the first, wouldn't it? And I submit that some acts others deem as courageous were merely expedient at the moment ... almost fool-hardy ... such as Audie Murphy's heroic actions simply seemed to be no other course for him, as he once commented later.

Yopo< Telling someone a truth that is going to hurt them. That takes courage. Imagine doctors and such have to face such situations often. Or telling a truth that is going to hurt YOU.

daCrone< divorce ... public speaking ... this is feeling to me like a type of fear in which the main element is perception of self ... still thinking ...

LEGS< OK ... not dangerous, but requiring personal courage? For me, that was serving as Adjutant when the time came to 'form the troops' for inspection. *s* Hardly had a voice at all to call out "Atten-shun!"

FRAML< I talked a dozen guys into going off the top of a 60 rappelling tower while I was in the Army. But when I came time for myself to go off the edge I froze. In fact, I climbed back UP the face of the tower from about 10 feet down, instead of rappelling 50 feet to the ground. The main instructor couldn't figure out how I got finger and toe holds on the 2x8 planks. My fear of falling over-rode my knowing that properly done it was quite safe to do.

Lor< First attempts at singing a solo in front of an audience come to mind -- probably not dangerous, except in the sense of possibly making a fool out of oneself and maybe embarrassing your friends and colleagues.

FRAML< However, I was always willing to tell my commanders what they didn't want to hear in my intelligence estimates and briefings. For me too many people's lives were or could have been riding on my honesty.

Lor< I believe it sometimes takes a lot of courage to face up and confess to one's own mistakes in the presence of colleagues one does not entirely trust as being true friends -- particularly if you are NOT proud of your actions and the rationale behind them.

Ben< I think this type of courage is specific to the person: that is, what is difficult for one person may be easy for another. For example: it takes a lot of courage for a shy little child to get up and recite a poem in public, but it doesn't take any courage for me to do that.

Yopo< Interesting point, about the shy child and the poem! Seems to suggest the timid and fearful sometimes show more courage than those we think of as brave. And that their courage is perhaps less likely to be noticed ...

Ben< QUESTION 2b: In general, do you think it takes more courage to do something that is difficult to do, or something that one doesn't want to do, even if it isn't difficult? YOUR TURN

windchild< For me, it's something I don't want to do. If it is difficult to do, I don't mind trying to do it, but if I don't want to do it, it's hard to get myself motivated.

LEGS< It may seem more difficult to overrule your desires, but honestly, the degree of difficulty might change with different tasks and different degrees of danger. I have done things all my life I preferred not to do, simply because it was expected of me ... demanded of me ... or imposed upon me. That wasn't courage. Just a sense of duty.

FRAML< I think there are two levels here, each requiring a decision that is as courageous as the other. Most would say that doing the difficult thing which might cost you your life is the more courageous act; however, that courage is not the norm for most people, but overcoming a fear that you have may take more courage, because you are fighting against yourself.

daCrone< Courage pointing out or courage pointing in ... interesting.

LEGS< daCrone: Succinctly stated ... *s*

Yopo< I think maybe it takes more to do the difficult thing. I do stuff I don't want to every day. Seems more a matter of persistence than courage, most of the time.

order< Hmm ... not sure I would say it takes courage to do what you don't want to do ... think it takes something else ... maybe will power?

Lor< Some difficult tasks just require more perseverance than courage, perhaps. Performing something one doesn't want to do would probably indeed involve some courage.

FRAML< LEGS: I agree with your comment about Audie Murphy. Also with your "sense of duty" as why one does something. I've done things because of that myself. "Someone has to do this, so I'll volunteer." (Yuck! Never volunteer, I was once told.)

LadyV< I think LEGS made a good point. To my mind, duty is courage ... and small acts of daily duty that take courage instead of turning and running away when it gets tough make the world a better place.

Eliyah< Thinking ... if one has reluctance to do something ... perhaps one is being guided? If it must be done, then timing may be of importance. If it must be done now, then the universe may well fund the courage to accomplish?

order< Elijah: I agree that timing is a very important factor in doing.

Ben< I think it takes more courage to do what one doesn't want to do, and especially if it isn't difficult. In fact, I think the greatest courage, and the greatest battles, are entirely internal.

LEGS< Oh, Ben, sometimes my greatest battle is holding my tongue ...

windchild< I totally agree with you, Ben.

Yopo< Hmm ... I understand the internal battle part of what you said, and entirely agree. Maybe I'm missing the point with "doing what you don't want to do" though. Life seems so full up with things we must do that we don't want to. Maybe I'm thinking too much of all the small stuff or something ...

daCrone< The courage required when the potential loss is tied to a relationship is different from that which is required when the potential loss is to oneself.

LadyV< daCrone: That is an interesting statement. The comment Ben made about the struggle with internal self would fit here, I think.

order< Ben: I would agree the greatest battles are within. *S* But still don't think it's a matter of courage to do what one doesn't wanta do, unless he is fearful of doing, of course, and not just lazy. *VBS*

windchild< order: If you mean the difference of getting up and cleaning the house or telling someone something you don't want to tell them, then I agree.

order< windchild: Yes, big difference! *VVBS*

LadyV< order: I think will power is the result of courage. First you swallow your desire to be elsewhere, then the will kicks in. Lots of people stay in lousy jobs and put up with a great deal because that is the way it is, and come Monday they call on the will power as the result of courage to crawl out of bed and go out and feed the kids.

order< LadyV: **Hugs** I think will power can overcome fear and cause us to act courageously even when we are afraid. But don't think courage applies to things we simply don't want to do... will power does?

LadyV< order: *smiling* You have the last word as always ...

Eliyah< Ben: Seems the real topic is dealing with fears?

FRAML< I remember the comments I got about my courage when I decided to re-enlist as an NCO after having been an officer to make it to 20 year retirement. That was a heck of an internal struggle in making that decision, and I was amazed at the support I got from fellow officers and NCO's I knew for making it.

Eliyah< So fears may come from several sources ... fear of failure, fear of succeeding, old cellular fears from times long past, and recently learned fears.

order< Eliyah: And very serious fears too... like moths... shivers! *G*

FRAML< Eliyah: And fears generated by those who wish to use them to control others.

Eliyah< FRAML: Yup ... conditioned fears or learned fears ... some imitative fears unconsciously learned; e.g., from a fearful friend, parent, other significant person.

Ben< ALL: I was locked out. Couldn't connect to SpiritWeb. Bummer. I have one more question prepared, plus a setup for discussion. Shall I continue or quit?

[It was almost midnight when I posted this, so the scheduled hour was over.]

Yopo< Ben: It will likely require that you have persistence and/or courage tonight, but please do continue ... *G*

[The others present also said I should continue.]

Ben< QUESTION 3: There are several types of courage-over-time that can be described as the ability to continue doing something or the ability to keep on trying again and again. What does this description remind you of? Do you have an example of this type of courage? YOUR TURN

daCrone< Stamina is the first word that comes to mind ... but thinking *S*

LEGS< Well, Abraham Lincoln was defeated for office many times, I understand.

windchild< Facing fears over and over until you overcome.

sahadeva< Sheesh, Ben, I must be too old to join that discussion.

FRAML< Thomas Alva Edison saying that he now knew 'X' number of ways that wouldn't work to make an incandescent light bulb. But it is also the person who keeps going to school to better themselves to get a better job to provide for their family. Or doing that job LadyV stated because of necessity and their sense of duty to their family.

Yopo< HA! Reminds me of my job. Reminds me of you, Ben, and your seminar. *S* Uh, reminds me of all those who choose to see the light in the human heart, despite the terrible things we humans do.

daCrone< It seems to me that many instances of courage over the long haul are related to love ... the necessity of taking on a responsibility -- liked or disliked -- is done in the effort to preserve/foster a relationship ... for example, grandparents -- many of whom are raising their grandchildren because their own children have turned to drugs.

LadyV< A person that has to learn to walk again ...

LEGS< I think it takes courage to learn to walk or talk again, like following a stroke. It may not be thought of as courage by everyone ... but, hey, it isn't easy to do ... it would be easier to not try.

daCrone< (((LEGS))) Got some of that courage here at home. *S*

Stormrider< I sincerely hope you do not feel uncomfortable if I continue to watch. It seems I lack the courage to put my opinions down, but I'll try to give that last one a shot! Personally, it does not take courage to do either, it takes motivation -- courage follows, or at least holds hand in the doing of it. It is realized, or known to me in retrospect, if courage was needed!

FRAML< Stormrider: Lurking is fine. *S* Good point.

Yopo< Stormrider *S*

windchild< Sometimes it takes courage to motivate yourself.

LadyV< ... motivation ... good point! What would be the motivation? Hunger? Love for someone?

order< Ben: I think Virtue used to be a word that was used in this manner, to keep on keeping on regardless of what comes?

[Ben order: Yes. Patience and persistence and perseverence, steadfastness and faithfulness, are all types or manifestations of the virtue of courage-over-time.

Lor< Fortitude can involve courage, methinks.

daCrone< I also find courage in the conscious decision to act.

Sprinkles< I think courage is in the trying, applying, and overcoming of things that are unique, as in the uniqueness of each individual's life.

LadyV< Sprinkles: That says it all... and so well...

Sprinkles< LadyV: Thank you, but I also think that to "do" is courage also. *S*

LadyV< Sprinkles: I agree. I think that Yopo, seeing the inner person, considered courage in reference to being a doctor and telling a person he is dying, is much of how I perceive it. The hero can be anyone of us at anytime. I saw a man -- a wee man of great age -- lift a car off a man. Before God, how he did it, I do not know! I could not do it myself. He did not count the cost ... he did it. All of us have courage when we have to have it ... or so I feel ... I do not really know. I just plug along like the next one.

FRAML< George Washington, during the American Revolution. He had the courage, willpower, stamina, and sense of duty toward a greater good that kept him going and enabled him to motivate his army and the continental congress.

daCrone< The greater good ... FRAML, that is a big key.

FRAML< daCrone: Yes, George and 'greater good' just popped into my mind.

Eliyah< FRAML: Thinking also that Washington had a sense of destiny. George Patton also had this ... an inner assurance of outcome?

daCrone< Eliyah: That is an interesting point.

LEGS< I believe it is courage that takes spouses and children to Alanon and Ala-teen ... when trying to support an alcoholic mate who wants to change ... much courage to allow an ex-convict to return to the home that once housed him/her and try to make life worthwhile. Many human difficulties like this may also fall in the line of duty way of thinking ... but a lot of people won't try.

Yopo< Durn! Bet Ben's locked outta his own classroom again ...

LEGS< Here's a warning I received via email and would like to pass to everyone: Subject: Home Safety Alert - Heating Water in Microwave. I feel that the following is information that anyone who uses a microwave oven to heat water should be made aware of. About five days ago my 26-year old son decided to have a cup of instant coffee. He took a cup of water and put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he had done numerous times before). I am not sure how long he set the timer for, but he told me he wanted to bring the water to a boil. When the timer shut the oven off, he removed the cup from the oven. As he looked into the cup he noted that the water was not boiling, but instantly the water in the cup "blew up" into his face. The cup remained intact until he threw it out of his hand, but all the water had flown out into his face due to the buildup of energy. His whole face is blistered and he has 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face which may leave scarring. He also may have lost partial sight in his left eye. While at the hospital, the doctor who was attending to him stated that this is a fairly common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven. If water is heated in this manner, something should be placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as a wooden stir stick, tea bag, etc. It is however a much safer choice to boil the water in a tea kettle. Please pass this information on to friends and family. Didn't realize it would require so much space ... but please take note.

Yopo< LEGS: Jeez! I hadn't even considered such a thing could happen. Can't say I fully grasp how that happens. Thanks for the warning. I'm a low-tech, microwaveless guy, but we've got one of the durn things at work ...

daCrone< Thank you, LEGS ... not a thing I have ever considered.

Mausie< Not sure if this is some separate topic thing happening, but microwaves rearrange molecules ... like cheese sauce -- once it curds, it will never get back to that creamy sauce ...

holyspigot< Greetings ... May I lurk for a moment? Nice topic ...

FRAML< holyspigot: Feel free to lurk or join. If you scroll up 100 lines you can review Ben's setup for tonight's topic and what we've covered so far.

LadyV< I have admiration for quiet people that carry on daily lives without a lot of recognition. They are often not noticed. I know a janitor that raised fine men, and none of them have to scrub a toilet. When I see him, I ask him to dinner with me. I see that he has courage.

SilverFox< It takes a lot of courage to even 'be' ...

windchild< SilverFox: Yes, the courage to be ... sometimes it's easier to die than to live.

SilverFox< Yes, windchild, I agree -- it is easier to die. That's probably why there are record numbers of stillbirths, miscarriages, anything where the soul sees the plan has gone awry -- it has the option to withdraw.

Stormrider< I'm a bit old for this also, Ben. It didn't take courage for me to live past 69; it took anger, fear, stubbornness, and sticktoativeness. To me the word courage comes into play when we buy into the idea that we are limited beings ... the lie! Yeah, that and death, the lies we have bought into.

daCrone< I see the merit in that ... nothing is needed to overcome that which does not exist.

FRAML< Stormrider: I think that courage is standing up against "the lie" for what is true. And as a couple of folks said earlier, some of the greatest acts of courage are in overcoming one's inner fears to do something that needs to be done.

LEGS< I appreciate Ben, FRAML, Lor, and greyman for being so consistent in these seminars. Nice to have something in this world to count on. *S*

FRAML< Thank, LEGS. Flattery will get you everywhere *G*.

LEGS< Welcome, Stormrider. Nice to know I'm not the only senior citizen here. *s* And I'll always admire you, FRAML ... ((((((MaryHugs))))))

Mausie< Stormrider: I remember a post from the other day ... in the 12th to 16th century, do you know the estimate of individuals forced off the planet ?

Stormrider< <Mausie: That didn't take courage -- and I don't know what the hell you're talking about in the second place! Cain't remember what I had just this morning, not important. Were you there 12,000 years ago? I probably was, too ... can't remember if I was one of the courageous ones! But another time for discussing that! haha!

Mausie< Stormrider: Perhaps it was somebody else who was posting historical data about the 12th to 16th century and how many had lost their lives due to witch trials, etc ... sorry.

Stormrider< It also took kicking ass and to keep on truckin' in spite of life's adversities. I've tried to keep competitiveness out of it, neither to win or lose, just to get thru the shit -- the brick walls, big stone walls. Sooner or later, and if ya live smart enough or long enough, it's just the pebbles that remain to kick outta the way. Now folks, dem's the subtle happenings that can really throw ya for a loop.

Sprinkles< Hello, Stormrider. *s* Are not all those things you described not courage? To others, I would think so. You applied determination to overcome what life's battles you have had. You had the courage to let your anger be known. Others might find that they lack this quality and instead continue on their way without trying. *S*

Yopo< Hey! We'd better behave! Ben is back ... *S*

Ben< ALL: Well, that was fun ... my Internet provider died. Called the HelpDesk. They just now got it fixed. I'm going to go ahead and post what I have left before I get locked out again.

Ben< I think that patience, persistence, endurance, fortitude and faithfulness can all be considered types of courage, or manifestations of this type of courage.

Ben< ALL: Now I would like to post 4 paragraphs and a sub-topic for discussion.

Ben< From guitarist: Since I cannot be here this lovely Saturday evening, I've sent you a few thoughts in hope that they will help further the discussion on courage.

Ben< From guitarist: 1. A person who is influenced by *the power of negative thinking* (to the extent that someone such as myself is) can get out from under this influence if s/he can be shown *hope.* Belief may not be enough because, as Ben points out, people can say they believe something, but it's only what the person experiences for him/herself that ends up being believed in the heart.

Ben< From guitarist: 2. Hope brings forth the courage to reach out for the object of that hope.

Ben< From guitarist: 3. Hope can come from observing someone else do or be something that one wants to do or be. Example: Reading the material on Ben's and some of your sites -- as well as many others -- has given me renewed hope that maybe I can reach out for a real living spiritual life, without interference from spiritual darkness(es). This weekend, I *hope* to begin achieving it.

[Ben< guitarist is on a personal spiritual retreat this weekend.]

LEGS< I'm pleased to hear from guitarist ... who was here bright and early last week and was disappointed as was I to not have a seminar to attend ... *S*

Ben< DISCUSSION: In general, what do you think is the relationship between courage and hope? YOUR TURN

LEGS< Courage is almost always under-girded by hope, even if the one acting courageously doesn't stop to consider it. Would a fireman enter a burning building if he had no hope of getting out?

daCrone< Yes, LEGS, I think you are right. *S*

windchild< If you had no hope in anything, then I don't think you could muster up any courage. What would be the point?

Ben< LEGS, windchild: Glad to see you stayed. *S* Yes, I think hope and courage are directly related. There is a type of courage that is found in hopelessness, sometimes, but I think it is rare.

Yopo< Hmm ... Hope engenders courage, no doubt. I'm not sure there can even BE courage without hope. When folks act courageously in seemingly hopeless situations, I think maybe they've placed their hope outside the bounds of the situation. Those showing courage in the face of their own death, for example. The physical situation may finally be utterly hopeless. But hope remains outside the bounds of the situation. They look beyond their own death. Either to hope of their spiritual continuance, or to a hope that how they die will give something lasting to those who remain ...

LadyV< When people want to die, you try to help them find hope ... so that they will discover the courage to fight to live. Sometimes that is not so easy ... and sometimes you have to get them riled ... as Stormrider says ... (grinning) and Sprinkles says to Stormrider "are not all those things you described not courage?

Ben< Yopo, LadyV: Good points. "Placing hope outside the bounds of the situation" is a way of describing a certain type of faith ...

LadyV< I think LEGS is right also ...

FRAML< Ben: An excellent point guitarist made about having hope. If one does not have it, then too many times lethargy and just accepting the situation comes into play. It is in spreading fear, as was mentioned earlier, that those who seek power and control over others use it to make people think there is no hope for them, that only the person pushing the fearful situation can conquer it for them. I think Lenin was a master of this.

Ben< FRAML: Yes. Terror tactics are designed to intimidate. And domination is often accomplished by instilling hopelessness.

windchild< I think Yopo has hit the nail on the head: "Hope remains outside the bounds of the situation."

LadyV< Yopo: In regard to the statement about dying people leaving "something lasting for those that remain" -- some folks die really bitter and just plain mean. I know that is not on the topic, but I want to add it. They did not have the intestinal fortitude to have courage in life ... they just wanted to get even ... and it's so sad what they do to the families.

Yopo< LadyV: Yes. Nothing could be sadder than dying in hopelessness, I think. Death is NOT an end to hope. Someone we both know taught me that lesson, and taught it to me well. I am forever in her debt ... *s*

Sprinkles< I think that hope is not outside the bounds of courage. It is there. Like the air. It is not heavy and can be taken in by all. It can be picked up and carried into one's life, or just left there to breathe through it. It is before courage, it is after courage. Some have need of it, some do not. It is behind inspiration and after. It is not out of bounds; it is always within the bounds.

LEGS< FRAML, Yopo: You two analyzed it very well. From past experience, I know that fear/hopelessness is a vicious circle that entraps one to not seeing past either ... at which point it takes personal courage to even begin to raise your sights to seek a hope to cling to.

Ben< I'm reminded of a story. Six men were in a lifeboat. There was no wind. They rowed all day trying to reach shore. They were very tired, but they kept on rowing. As the sun set, one of them said "We aren't going to make it" and suddenly they had no energy. They all slumped over the oars and did nothing. After the sun set, they sat in the darkness, doing nothing, until one of them raised his head, looked around, and shouted: "There's a lighthouse!" Just as suddenly as it had vanished, their energy returned, and they rowed toward the light with renewed vigor.

LadyV< Ben: I like that story ...

windchild< Maybe the one man was expressing what they all feared and the other one gave them the hope they were seeking.

Sprinkles< Ben: Well, that story has the courage, the hope, applying, trying, and overcoming as well as the doing. :)

Ben< Sprinkles: Yes, in that story, the doing (physical) depended on the spiritual (non-physical) ...

Sprinkles< Ben: Yes, and the physical doing was enhanced with hope renewed.

Ben< ALL: That story was my last prepared post for tonight. I'm glad to have them all posted. My connection is working better now, though it was a pretty wild (and discouraging) hour-and-half from 11:30 to 1:00 am my time.

Yopo< Ben: Know I speak for all when I say we much appreciate you hanging in here this evening. Know it musta been very frustrating. But you've given us a very good seminar, in spite of all!

Tracey< Ben: IMHO courage comes from the soul. It is part of your being. It is ... and cannot be repressed. Even in the darkest hour you know it is there, if it is part of you, and you know you will connect with it again when it is time for your human being to access the courage of the soul. *S*

LEGS< Courage of the soul ... that would make a good book title. Hello, Tracey.

Tracey< LEGS: Yeah, hon, it would. *S* Is there any other kind? *S* Good to see you, dear one.

Stormrider< Well, here I go again -- but this hope-courage thingie, and there's gotta be another word here to make it a quinella -- haha (means 3 with same intent). I like to think in terms of "Faith, Hope, and Charity" who are living beings, Angels who reside on higher frequencies -- ya gotta open up heart to them, to this source, that's where it comes from -- as "love" -- love flows in (into, inside) through and around you, as does the Divine Rays of Faith, Hope and Charity! Now guess I better quit while I'm behind, and running outta courage. Might get slugged again, huh? *chuckling* Where's my source, ya say? -- Well, I got all that from Ascended Master Saint Germain Foundation training schools --- don't look at me -- dem guys up "There" made me do it! -- haahaha

7of9< Hope comes from knowing you are loved by your maker (God) and are promised never to be left alone, forsaken, forgotten -- not to speak of eternal life in reunion with God and all the beloveds -:) -- loved just as you are -- despite all shortcomings. This may not be recognized, however, until you are in great suffering and reach out to God or cry out for help.

LEGS< A thought, Ben ... We have all heard that loving someone leads us to thinking with our heart, so to speak. Perhaps being courageous calls on us to think with our gut, as in the phrase, "Gut it up and get it done." The down and dirty part of our active life is being courageous in spite of all drawbacks and obstacles, and we do it so we can get back to the good part of life ... thinking with the heart again ...

Tracey< LEGS: Good point, darlin ... love and courage hold hands all the time. That's why loved ones find a courage they did not know they had in times of crisis when saving someone they love ... and so it goes ... *S*

windchild< Goodnight all, thanks for an amazing evening. You have all taught me well.

Ben< windchild: [I wanted to reply to your post concerning my story before you left.] As I see it, hope and courage and the amount of energy available are almost always directly related.

windchild< Ben: I haven't considered the available energy side of it. That will give me something to think about. Thanks and goodnight.

7of9< Ben: That story is the same as the biblical account of Peter and some of the disciples who were caught in a storm in a boat and saw Jesus walking on the water (hope).

Yopo< Ben: Yeah, that energy thing. I suppose we could speculate on where the energy comes from. If hope only causes us to draw on reserves we didn't know we had, or maybe if it opens some sort of connection to outside sources. LadyV's comment about the old man lifting the car made me wonder about that ...

Ben< Yopo: As I see it, hope and courage amplify and release our own energy, our own spiritual life-force. That's why people glow when they are full of hope and courage, and look drained and gray when they feel hopeless or intimidated.

Yopo< That might explain the complexion of some in the office where I work. I had previously attributed it to florescent lighting ... *s*

LEGS< Ben: That is a very beautiful way to describe hope and courage ... much nicer than "gutting it up" ... *S*

LadyV< Ben: Good point ...

Yopo< Ben: I'm probably connection-obsessed. But I was remembering a long-past conversation. How love formed a connection that things could pass over. Was thinking perhaps hope might somehow work the same way. I've seen how hope shines in the eyes, though, and how hope has given people the strength to prevail. Your point is well-taken!

Ben< Yopo: Yes, caring-connections can carry energy from one who has more energy to one who has less -- and that energy can stimulate hope and courage in the recipient. This is what happens, for example, in the act of blessing.

LEGS< Yopo, Ben: The caring connection is really a web IMHO ... reaching in all directions with those you love being cocooned in the loving energy ...

Ben< LEGS: Yes. If we think about all the souls who care, and all their caring-connections, it is ... glorious!

Stormrider< OK, kiddos, I'm gonna kick back and listen now ... but I did give it a try, by gummies. Thanks and I'll try with great courage to shut up! -- tain't easy for me. I seem to mess up your flow ... sorry, but thanks again. "*S*

Sprinkles< Stormrider: My flow was not messed up. I enjoyed your input. *VBS* I hope you are determined to come back, I like your stubbornness. **S**

LadyV< I think TheFire comes on-line about this time and the connection works better. I notice that also. Could be the circuits are not so busy, either. Ben, ask him to join us sometime, if you don't mind. I don't know this man. Few do. It is like being the guest in the home of a person that is offering you a place to rest, and you do not see the host ...

Ben< LadyV: TheFire does come to the chatrooms sometimes, but almost always under another nickname, because otherwise it becomes a discussion about the web-site instead of spirituality.

Yopo< Hmmm ... Rene enters incognito? *G* There are a few who might behave a bit better if they knew that ...

LEGS< Ben: Thank you for the Seminars, and your presence here makes a big difference. I'm sure if you invited TheFire, he would try to be here for a lesson. I know he reviews them and has the greatest respect and love for you. He told me so.

Ben< LEGS: I would love to see Rene in these seminars, any time, by any nickname. I can ask him, but I hesitate to do so because I know he's working day and night to keep this whole web-site going.

LadyV< Ben: I think having a structure and a time-frame will make it easier for him. It will be specific. You would know best in regards to his time.

LEGS< I understand, Ben. Few realize the dedication of Rene ... and tonite's Stonehenge records will shock anyone, I venture to say. How discouraging (look at that word for what removing courage can do) for him to see how some people abuse his hospitality ... the foul language and intentional shock quality of the comments are sad portrayals of the chatters involved.

Mausie< I'm just getting over the shock of Stonehenge ... like 100 herods to the 100th squared.

sahadeva< wow

Yopo< Hello, JamesRD! *S* Very pleased to see you!

JamesRD< Namaste my friends ...

LEGS< Namaste, JamesRD ... how are you sweet man? How is our Blueye?

LadyV< Hello, James. I am also glad to see you.

JamesRD< I am ashamed of myself and must leave as I have desecrated this place ... Namaste ...

Yopo< JamesRD: Huh? I hardly think so. Several smiled to see your name. Blessings, my friend!

LEGS< Stay, JamesRD

LadyV< dear, dear James ... if you only knew how precious you are ... to so many.

Sprinkles< Ben: I wanted to thank you for the seminar although I wasn't aware of it taking place at first. I thought it was very good and it made me take time to think of what I have not given thought to in a while. Thank you! Will there be more seminars, and are they posted here?

Ben< Sprinkles: You're more than welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I'll continue with this subject for the next couple of weeks (Sat nights at 11:00 pm eastern time). And transcripts of the previous seminars are on my web-site.

Yopo< Ben: Strikes me as a very good topic to continue with. Sorta getting into some new territory.

Ben< Yopo: Well, courage is certainly a sub-set of spirituality, and it ties in with several of the other subjects we've discussed.

LadyV< Ben: I would like to suggest that FRAML pop into the other chat rooms as he did tonight, and just invite people here. As Sprinkles says, many do not know about these meetings, and some do not know how to get to the other chat rooms. If he would not mind ... if he does this just as he enters to set up the room ...

Ben< LadyV: Good point. Thanks. I'll mention it to FRAML.

LEGS< *smiling* well, folks, I just can't seem to get myself going out of here tonite. Love being here with y'all. Everyone seemed to have good comments tonite for the seminar ... and hey! I just get lonesome, you know?

Yopo< LEGS: *LOL* I have on occasion said my good-nights, then said 'em again an hour later ...

LEGS< {{{{{JamesRD}}}} Hello, dear heart!

Yopo< Hello again, James! *S*

Ben< JamesRD: Hello, friend. Welcome, as always. Namaste.

Sprinkles< Hello, JamesRD *S*

JamesRD< I am sorry for my response ... I have never sworn or cursed in these rooms, but in a fit of anger I was very, very foul in another room. And once said, words can not be retrieved. I am ashamed of my actions. I thank you all dearly for your concern, yet the action was mine in entirety. My love and blessings to all ...

Yopo< JamesRD: *G* Oh, I most certainly wouldn't want friends here to know the words that sometimes come outta MY mouth. I attribute it to spending some time in the service. *S* If my mother knew, I'd have soap on my breath ... (Odor of sanctity about Yopo is actually the odor of soap ... *hehehe*)

Sprinkles< JamesRD: My goodness, but you sound heavy with sadness. Why do you choose to carry such a burden? Whatever it is, let it go. Yesterday is gone; today is in it's passing; tomorrow is anew. *VBS*

LEGS< Dear JamesRD ... sweet man, I guess we will have to oppose you entering sainthood this month. Ah, how good to know that you are indeed human, my good friend. Many a time I have found myself almost replying in like manner to herod. Sometimes we are taxed beyond all sensibility ... but how could we do less than be forgiving of you when we have so many times been encouraged and blessed by your words here? (((((((MaryHugs)))))))))

Ben< JamesRD: The fact that you have a sense of shame speaks well of you, in my opinion. Would that more people did. Namaste!

LadyV< JamesRD: Sometimes words are not heard with the intent to censure ... sometimes words burst out from a source within us that is not us ... but the pain in us. There is none among us that have not felt rage ... only thing is, when I am profane it comes out so funny no one takes me seriously. James ... let it go ...

Yopo< LadyV: *G* I had an aunt like that. Couldn't curse worth a ... Uh ... durn. But she persisted in trying, when taken with outrage. Got flustered when folks laughed ...

LadyV< Yopo: I have this quiet voice that does not raise ... and when it does, it sounds a bit like Tweety Bird ... which explains why the words are so funny ...

Ben< Well, friends, time for me to hang up the mouse. Having been locked out so long tonight, I'm looking forward to downloading the text tomorrow, to see what happened. Peace and blessings to you and yours. *poof*

Yopo< Good night Ben. Blessings ...

Sprinkles< Good night, Ben, LIGHT***LOVE***HAPPINESS***

LadyV< Night, Ben. Thanks for enjoyable evening.

Sprinkles< To the person that is pm-ing me, I have no knowledge of the workings of it. I have been told how, but it just seems to be beyond my grasp. My apologies in being unable to answer you. But I do thank you for your kind words and heartfelt intentions. I thank you and wish you well. **VBS**

Stormrider< It's been greaaaaaat, no kidding -- you peoples are super duper, and thanks, Ben, for my trial run here tonite, and for allowing my off-beat two "sense" worth -- Thanks mucho, Kiddos!

LadyV< Night, Stormrider. Come visit us again soon.

Stormrider< okidoki, LadyV ~~~~~~~~~~poofers~~~~~~~~~ zap!

Sprinkles< Good night, everyone, with hopes of seeing you again and the courage to put my words to screen. *S* LOVE * LIGHT * HAPPINESS* *sprinkles* *poof*

LadyV< Night, Sprinkles ... enjoyed chatting with you.

LadyV< "I go among trees and sit still. All my stirring becomes quiet around me like circles on water. My tasks lie in their places where I left them, asleep like cattle. Then what I am afraid of comes. I live for a while in its sight. What I fear in it leaves it. And the fear of it leaves me. It sings, and I HEAR its song." --Wendell Berry

22. Courage
Session 2
Sat 22 Jan 2000

Ben< ALL: Last time we looked at three types of courage and discussed the relationship between courage and hope. This time I'll try to develop some contrast by which we may be able to see this whole topic more clearly. Ready? Here we go ...

Ben< EXERCISE 1: This is a small exercise in word association. Please describe each of the two mental images that come into your mind when you hear or read these two phrases: (1) a brave dog, and (2) a cowardly dog. YOUR TURN

Sprinkles< Old Yeller was the first image, Wishbone the second. :)

nasus< (1) Teeth. (2) Hunched in a corner.

Ben< Sprinkles, nasus: OK! Thanks.

guitarist< Interesting question. I don't think about it much. Brave dog will defend his/her loved ones from attackers even to the point of self-sacrifice. Very aggressive stance. Cowardly dog will back up, run if he can. Size does not matter.

Yopo< Ha! Rin-Tin-Tin, and the Taco Bell dog

Ben< guitarist, Yopo: Likewise. *S*

FlamingEagle< I see a difference in posture, attitude, perspective ... not size.

Yopo< FlamingEagle: Right. The Taco Bell dog wouldn't intimidate even at 110 pounds. *S*

guitarist< I don't think about brave vs. cowardly dogs as a function of size. My next door neighbor dog is a black Labrador, and he thinks he's a pit bull. The real pit bull on the other side of the development thinks she's a Labrador. Go figure!

Sprinkles< I don't think it has anything to do with size, also. Wishbone always needs to apply a human characteristic, not his true self a dog. *S*

Ben< My mental image of a brave dog looks like Lassie: standing tall, with head erect and tail waving like a flag. My mental image of a cowardly dog looks like a cur, crouched down, head lowered, slinking away, with its tail between its legs.

FRAML< (1) Rin Tin Tin or Bullet. (2) Cowardly ????

FunBunny< 1. Lassie. 2. Yellow dog.

Ben< QUESTION: Which of these two mental images of dogs do you instinctively or intuitively like better than the other -- and why? YOUR TURN

Yopo< Oh, you've gotta like the alert, self-assured dog better, I think. Piteous quivery dog might tug at your heart a bit and win your sympathy, but he's gonna be hard to really like.

FunBunny< Yellow dog elicits desires to encourage, love, cheer, etc. -- i.e., the maternal instinct.

guitarist< Naturally, I think the brave dog has the better picture. I find that I'd have to protect the cowardly dog, and not the other way around. (I think my own dog might be the latter type. But, you never know. We haven't been in a situation to find out.) The brave dog can stand up for him/herself, and seems in command of the situation at hand. // Sprinkles: I understand now. Wishbone is not really a dog anyhow. More like a puppet.

Ben< guitarist: Remember that you started your post with the word "naturally" -- that may be significant later in this session. *S*

LEGS< Who was the bulldog in the comic strip with the yellow canary named Tweetie-bird?

FRAML< The brave dog, not the one which is constantly with it's tail between it's legs. But also not a dog which is attacking at any movement.

Sprinkles< hmmm... I don't dislike either; both have qualities that are important. In the help for understanding.

Yopo< I suppose the "why" has to do with the sort of company you like to keep, and how it makes you feel. A cowardly, defeated companion isn't going to be very uplifting company.

Ben< I instinctively like a brave dog better than a cowardly dog ... but while I was preparing for this session, I realized that I wasn't sure why I feel that way.

FunBunny< ... and the point being?

Ben< FunBunny: I'm pointing at something, but it'll be awhile until I get there. *S*

greyman< Ben: Odie.

FunBunny< greyman: Awwww ... you made me smile ... gotta love Odie!

Creativlit< I liked Scooby Doo ... he may have had a lot of faults but he was real.

FlamingEagle< Could this tie into societal expectations?

Jello< Lots of good stories out there about how cowardly dogs are turned into brave dogs (well ... people, that is). Those are usually some of my favorite stories.

FRAML< A brave dog will be one who does guard duties typically associated with dogs; a cowardly one will run when threatened instead of sounding the alert.

guitarist< FRAML: Actually, my dog must be one of the brave ones, then. He sounds the alert rather than running.

Ben< COMMENT: The words *cower, coward, cowardly, and cowardice* come from the Old French word *couard* which literally means "with tail between the legs."

FunBunny< I don't know where this is leading, BUT I do know, inasmuch as I have oodles of the maternal thing in me and the underdog tends to 'draw me', I have learned this to be of course a joy in service, BUT a terrible handicap inasmuch as I have had to learn (and still need to): balance, good judgment, avoiding transference, enabling co-dependence and dependence ... lots of stuff ... things I've had to learn through experience to assess better and to adjust, so I can counsel and teach my children from my own hard knocks and good experiences.

Ben< EXERCISE 2: Instant past-life regression, please. *Shazam!* You are a woman living in a cave. You and your mate and your children are eating supper (mammoth steak, yummy!). A small bear comes into the cave and tries to grab your supper. You hit the bear with a stick. It attacks you. Your mate runs away. The bear rips you with its claws, grabs your supper and runs away. After awhile, as you lie there bleeding to death, your mate comes back. You ask him "Why didn't you help me?" He says "I was scared." As you leave your body and drift out of the cave, what thoughts and feelings are you taking with you? YOUR TURN

FlamingEagle< 'How DARE you!' -- disappointment and feelings of being let down or betrayed, anger.

Creativlit< I would never define courage as a feat of testosterone and brawn.

Ben< Creativlit: Testosterone and brawn don't help if courage is lacking.

Sprinkles< Understanding, sympathy, compassion. "I'll be back and we will meet again, my love."

FRAML< "Men are cowards."

greyman< "I'm outta here."

guitarist< It's rather interesting that I'm the one who hit the bear, not my mate. How I'd feel depends on whether I've foreseen this end based on what I know of him. I'd probably say to myself, "How did I get stuck with this loser?" or some such cave-woman equivalent. "Now, will my children be OK? Not if I'm any example!"

Jello< Also, how do the thoughts evolve as the departed spirit remembers not just her own life, but her children's?

Yopo< "NEXT time, I'm gonna be VEGETARIAN. Durn bear wouldn'ta come in after a roasting turnip. And I'm gonna choose my men better."

Creativlit< Logically, I would consider that the flight-or-fight syndrome is a normal process and running from the bear falls into that and the more intelligent human by natural laws would seek the route of self preservation.

FunBunny< Forgive him for he knew not what he did. He obviously reacted to his first or emotional or natural man response. Had he time to think, he could have employed logic enough to think outside himself. But, hey! He was probably a Neanderthal ... *smile* ... and wasn't that yet evolved.

Ben< I probably would be thinking "What a coward!" and wishing I had found a more courageous mate.

guitarist< Ben: Why do I think you're going to throw us a curve ball?

Ben< guitarist: Because you've been here before?

Creativlit< Courage is about having faith and conviction in yourself.

Jello< Many animals think outside themselves. I suspect most early human women had a certain ideal even back then.

FunBunny< I'm thinking I need the cliff notes version here.

guitarist< Ben: I don't know, but my mom always said my dad didn't have any backbone. I don't think it has to go back that far. *s*

Creativlit< I don't know, it's just me ... and I live in an area with bears and have to deal with them camping ... to me a fool is the one who stands there and tries to clobber a bear and be an idiot, and the smart one runs like hell ... even dumber still is challenging one. I have a hard time trying to process this thought as some sort of idea or concept about courage. Then, too, when meeting up with a bear, it is best to just stand still. Anyhow, that is my take on it. If I were to identify persons who I felt really had courage, I would select Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa ... like it or not, Bill Clinton, for all the humiliation, he didn't quit or run away and he still gets out in the public and does his job ... and there are many more persons I could think of. Courage is a woman who gathers all she has of her will and walks out of a marriage where she is beat every day, not know where she will lay her head down at the end of that day.

Ben< EXERCISE 3: In your next life, you are again a woman living in a cave. You are old (45) and ill, but basically comfortable. In a sleepy reverie, you go back through your memories. You were a vivacious girl, but very choosy. You didn't select a mate until you were almost full-grown. You remember him now. Time after time, he faced dangerous animals and predatory men. He fought for you and for your children. Eventually he was killed by a tiger. But your children were grown by that time, and now your daughters take care of you. As you rise up from your body and drift out of the cave, what thoughts and feelings are you taking with you? YOUR TURN

FunBunny< "For a family of our time in history, we were a functional family system."

Sprinkles< OK, if the shoe was on the other foot (male comes to rescue and woman runs), is the woman a coward? I don't think so.

guitarist< Sprinkles: Ben didn't say the woman ran. I wouldn't have run, but helped him beat the bear back. I would thank G-d my children had a good chance at life because their father had heart.

Yopo< I suppose there might be a sense of peace at having made good decisions, and perhaps some thoughts that you may be going to rejoin someone who was always devoted to you.

Sprinkles< Gratefulness to my daughter for her giving part of her life in caring for me, and to my husband for the courage to continue on without him. (Gosh, I'm a real push-over.)

guitarist< I would remember him with love and respect.

FlamingEagle< Is the peace there because of the security you felt all those years?

FRAML< She is probably thinking that she found a good man, and he was worth waiting and searching for. He was a good protector.

Ben< I probably would be thinking "I'm glad I waited to select a brave mate."

guitarist< Ben: In this life (I don't know whether I've had others), I did just that. I waited for the right guy. I'm glad I did. *VBS*

[Ben< guitarist: Yes. *VBS*]

greyman< "Not a bad life. Can't wait until electricity is invented." *g*.

FunBunny< And ... 'rising out of body' ... on to the next adventure ...

guitarist< Creativlit: Thank you for teaching us how to deal with bears! *s* But Ben said it was a small bear, big enough to kill us, but small enough to fight. Anyhow, we were in the cave, with nowhere to run ... and I agree with you about the courageous women you mentioned.

Creativlit< guitarist: There is no such thing as a bear small enough to fight but big enough to kill. I personally wouldn't want a mate that unintelligent. I would want someone who knew how to do the right thing in the first place as far as preservation of food in a safe manner to prevent bear problems. Personally, I identify courage as also concomitant with intelligence.

guitarist< Creativlit: thank you again. I guess I must have Ben's point all wrong? I don't know bears up close. But I know something had to be done, so I picked what I would do if it were something else. What, I don't know. I just thank G-d that I don't have an unintelligent husband. Maybe he would have set a trap outside the cave and put meat there so the bear would go there instead of right for our supper! Then we'd have more supper.

FunBunny< Courage for Ms Bunny here is STAMINA. PATIENCE with others faults and weaknesses as well as my own whilst we all work out our existence, make mistakes, try again, and enduring graciously and lovingly with a happy attitude to the end. AND Courage to Ms. Bunny is deriving the positive out of even the most negative of situations.

guitarist< FunBunny: Reminds me of my husband's old boss's three requisites for success: competence, understanding the needs of others, and toleration of the imperfect.

FunBunny< guitarist: Cool credo, particularly the last quality. *S*

guitarist< FunBunny: Thanks! :)

animalspiritwalk< Hello, I have been reading all of the posts. I have a question and statement, something I have asked myself in many situations after they occurred: How can you have courage if you don't have faith?

Creativlit< animalspiritwalk: I agree with you ... faith is vital to courage, because you can't have courage if you have no faith.

FRAML< animalspiritwalk: I think that is another aspect of courage in what one is facing. Perhaps it is on the plate for next week, or after tonight's summary.

Ben< ALL: End of past-life regression. *Shazam!* You're here in your present life, with little or no conscious memory of your past lives (unless you've explored them). Now I'd like to post two definitions and a summary to show where I was headed with these exercises, and then open the meeting for discussion.

Ben< DEFINITION: According to Webster's Dictionary, courage is: 1. the attitude of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful, instead of withdrawing from it; 2. the quality of being fearless or brave; valor.

Ben< DEFINITION: According to Webster's Dictionary, a coward is a person who lacks courage, especially one who is shamefully unable to control his fear and so shrinks from danger or trouble. (Notice the word "shamefully" in this definition.)

Ben< SUMMARY: The semantic opposite of courage is cowardice. Most people seem to instinctively or intuitively admire courage and despise cowardice -- in themselves and others. This may be more than cultural conditioning. It may be coming from the accumulation of karmic memories of numerous experiences and observations of the results of courage and cowardice over the course of many lifetimes.

FRAML< Ben: Yes, probably karmic memory for me on my fear of falling.

Yopo< It's interesting how courage is the thing first defined, then cowardice is described as its absence. To me that implies that the positive trait is thought of as being more or less the norm, and cowardice a deficiency from the norm. Not entirely sure what to make of that ...

Creativlit< My thought, though, is that how courage and cowardice are defined is completely relative to the culture and society of the moment.

FunBunny< Courage is PUSHING through and past fear ... into the unknown and accepting the outcome of your choices.

LEGS< Interesting that Cower and Power only start out differently in spelling but end differently in action.

FunBunny< OOO hey cool! FRAML just told me that PUSHING through FEAR was last week's seminar. I must be 'in the zone'.

Jello< The one or more steps above instinctive dislike of cowardice, however, appear to be the lesson in your average one-hour TV show for kids: "Kids, it's OK to be scared. Everyone is scared in <situation X>. You just have to face that fear." I seem to recall a seminar long, long ago on fear. This seems to tie in somehow.

Yopo< Jello: Yeah, good point. The courageous and the cowardly may feel the same degree of fear in a given situation. It is the way we respond that defines us. "Fearless" isn't the same thing as "courageous" ...

Ben< Yopo: Yes, courageous isn't the same as fearless. I intend to expand on (illustrate) that point next time.

Jello< My thought on the one-hour children's show was that I have seen better stories overseas than the ones I see here; they more directly discuss how to be courageous even after multiple defeats, even multiple defeats to cowardice. I like those. The other thing I like are stories about "What is true courage?" That's another great story line.

FlamingEagle< Part of accepting your present is accepting and forgiving yourself for past acts of cowardice.

animalspiritwalk< Ben: When you have a sec, I would like to ask you a question pertaining to courage. (In my case it may have been insanity. *LOL*) I have consequences that I may suffer from due to my "courage". I go to court on Monday as a result ...

guitarist< Proving courage is probably the reason why a lot of kids get in trouble. They don't have confidence in their own courage, so when it's doubted by a schoolmate (I'm thinking bully), they tend to go for the trap. It seems to be a deep-seated concern under normal circumstances as well. As parents, I think we need to give our kids chances to know their own strength before someone bad challenges it.

animalspiritwalk< guitarist: I believe that kids of today have no faith in who they are, also they get a bad rap from the actions of their peers. But if they had faith in themselves, resulting in higher self-esteem, not false ego, they would excel academically and personally, therefore reducing the amount of "troublemakers".

Ben< ALL: Just another comment: I think it worthwhile to consider the possibility that a lot of our "instinctive or intuitive" reactions may be coming from (subconscious) karmic memories. The (perhaps long-ago) situations in which those reactions were conditioned may be very different from our present situations, and yet the reactions tend to remain with us.

Jello< Ben: Hadn't quite thought of the karmic angle on this one, but I do see it. Was having trouble tying everything to just the good ol' selfish gene ...

greyman< Ben: Thank you. I will now have nightmares of being Zena the Princess Warrior tonight. *G*

Yopo< Ben: But even if the source of "intuitive responses" is long-past and long-forgotten experiences, I wouldn't think that would necessarily mean the response is correct and proper. Might we not also accumulate inappropriate things like that? Our seemingly instinctive fear of what is strange or different, for example. We might have many past experiences where the strangers appearing in our midst were a very real threat. Yet that response can also get us into much trouble.

Ben< Yopo: The response may have been appropriate, necessary, in the previous situation (such as living in a cave with dangerous animals all around), but not necessary or appropriate in the present lifetime. My karmic memories of swordsmanship and instinctive skill with a sword are like that.

Sprinkles< The definitions of shamefully and pain come to thoughts of the male in this scenario. Because of his fear, he would have to suffer the loss of his mate, and that pain would be taken on him for the rest of his lifetime. The saying "woman scorned" when the bear entered. Being a female and mother, I would see no fear when it came to protect the children -- but if I did run, I would have been in the shame and the pain, had I had the time to think.

Ben< Sprinkles: In the first stone-age scenario I posted, if the man was ashamed that he ran away and didn't help his mate chase the bear out of the cave, he very well may have resolved to try to be more courageous (in the rest of that life and subsequent lives). Thus, shame and regret that lead to a resolve to do better can have very positive long-term results.

Sprinkles< Ben: Yes. I agree.

Creativlit< The only thing I have been trying to point out is that not all of us would define courage or cowardice as the same thing. Kinda like love ... ask everyone in the room how they would define what love really is ... same with fear. Many of you would have similar answers ... close, but not the same. Not everyone would see it or define it the same. So therefore these things can be very relative and subjective to the situation and persons involved, and culture and society. Not all understand it as being the same thing. Look how many took my relating my experience as different as some sort of personal challenge or something when nothing was ever directed that way. I only stated I defined it as something different and tried to relate why it was a different experience for me. So how we see courage or cowardice is also defined by our own personal experiences.

guitarist< Creativlit: I think that courage is the same; the forces that bring it out are different, and our reactions might *seem* different because the steps to counter the forces require different strategies. So, what one person sees as courageous might seem cowardly to another. But we don't know all the forces the person was responding to.

Creativlit< Right, guitarist. I get told a lot that I have a lot of courage because I am a single mom with 4 kids trying to go to college, and one of my kids is disabled. I don't see it or view it as courage. To me that is how life has always been, and it is a "normal" thing for me, so I don't relate to it in the same way. Now for me, courage, I think ... OK, like next week when I start chemo ... I have no fear, no anxiety, and have complete faith that all will be well. That to me, for myself, I feel is courage. How I would define it for others would be different for each individual. If a guy normally goes out every day trying to challenge bears, I wouldn't consider him very courageous. Or someone very agile running the 10k race, but here every year there is a man who walks in braces with crutches in the bloomsday race ... every year he is the last to finish, hours after the race is over, and only one TV station stays and gives a live showing of his crossing the finish line. Now that's courage to me. The more agile man running the same race I wouldn't feel the same way about.

guitarist< Creativlit: I agree. The one who has the highest hurdle is the most courageous. It sounds as though you are going through a lot. Blessings on you and your children. You *are* courageous, I don't care how self-effacing you are! (((HUGS)))

Creativlit< guitarist: *blush* Thanks. I'm just trying to create discussion though.

LEGS< Ben: Why am I such a doormat?

guitarist< LEGS: A doormat? You? I don't believe it.

Ben< LEGS: Are you a doormat? If so, maybe that thought and feeling could lead you to remember an event or series of similar events in which your "doormat" reactions were necessary and/or appropriate.

LEGS< It is, if not a doormat, a distinct lack of personal courage to stand up for myself and the things I want to do in my life. Sometimes I excuse it as peace-keeping ... not making the argument because it is just me and my ideas that may not warrant a battle ... so I go along with what others think I should do.

Jello< I was thinking about courage recently, and it seemed to me that courage was what little people have when they face big challenges and refuse to back down ... saw more and more how a big strong person (physically, politically) may need (have?) less courage until he(she) faces something much bigger ...

Creativlit< LEGS: I did like you for a very long time. I wish I could claim it was courage that made me change. I don't think it was, though. I got angry ... angry at being used, hurt, and having everything taken away from me, and always giving up myself to please everyone else. My motivator was anger, but I used the anger, not as a bad thing, but as a powerful motivator to change myself. I can still give and be kind, but once I got that anger up, I finally started drawing some personal boundaries. I also let go of worrying about upsetting everyone. At first it was scary, but then it was so liberating ... to be free ... and then I started growing into who I am, finding out I really am that I never let myself have the opportunity to do so before.

LEGS< Thanx, Jello and Creativlit.

Yopo< Maybe our lessons become increasingly refined with the passage of lifetimes. The cave-woman in the story first learns she should choose a more aggressive and steadfast mate, and thinks of men who always stand their ground and kill cave bears and leopards and such. Then maybe, she learns that such men are always eventually eaten by tigers. Perhaps her definition of "courage" eventually becomes more refined.

guitarist< Yopo: ... and men who get eaten by tigers learn that they need some engineering principles to preserve themselves, like making traps, what to put in them to lure the animal, etc.

Yopo< The tigers and cave bears learn, too: "Yep. Them humans is good eatin' but you sure as heck don't wanna let 'em get hold of a sharp rock or a pointy stick." *LOL*

Jello< Yopo: Or maybe, as I sometimes suspect, hyper-aggression becomes in some way selected for ... then you get people who enjoy beating up animals ... and people.

Yopo< A certain amount of aggression is a good thing, and evolution selects for it. Trouble is, the trait is carried in streams through time in the gene pool, and sometimes the streams flow together into one individual's makeup. When THAT happens, it ISN'T a good thing ...

Ben< animalspiritwalk: Earlier, you asked if anyone can have courage without faith. What do you think about that?

Jello< Re: Faith: I think faith gives hope, and hope inspires courage where there might otherwise be none. If one is dealing with something so otherwise terrible and vast and horrible, few other things can help fuel courage than faith and those things that encourage faith.

Ben< Jello: Well said (about faith and hope and courage).

Creativlit< I agree. I think courage is one of those things that doesn't come alone ... it walks hand in hand with faith, and hope.

FlamingEagle< hmmm... I'm thinking about present life and the faith (and subsequent courage) necessary to deal with issues at times.

Jello< What else but faith (not necessarily of a particular religion) promises spiritual laws and/or Spirit that is there to help see one safely through, say, a battle that is completely spiritual? In a material battle, one could trust in muscles or weapons or money. In a spiritual battle, or certain psychic battles, there is only faith and those things or people who encourage faith.

animalspiritwalk< Ben: I don't know if you heard, but last Sunday, I was out with a female friend of mine. We used to date for six years, and recently ended our relationship, yet we are still great friends. Anyway, three men approached her on the street. There was a good amount of people around. When they noticed that I was with her, the three focused their attention on me. (Before they even showed up, I swear I heard chanting, yet my friend did not when I asked her if she could hear the chant.) Well, two of the guys grabbed me, my arm and leather jacket. I not only heard the chant but felt it also.

animalspiritwalk< At this point, I am only relaying to you what was told to me by witnesses. I punched the first guy in the face; the second guy I threw over the roof of a parked car, and the third guy ran, I chased him down, caught him, grabbed him by the throat, slammed him against a wall, and threw him into the street. I went back to the first guy and picked him up by his throat. Then the cops, and a store manager, and other people broke it up.

animalspiritwalk< Ben: What the hell was this all about? People said I made a screeching sound like a mountain lion; another said I sounded like a bear, and many said I was growling like an attack dog when I chased the third guy down. I was arrested yesterday afternoon and released. My attorney said charges are being filed against me for "attack with a lethal weapon" (several counts), "assault and battery with a lethal weapon" (three counts). They were pending attempted murder charges, but chose not to. I have two black belts in Martial Arts. I used none of my training, yet I am being charged by three men for defending myself. Now I have no recollection of what happened, but normally I wouldn't do something so extreme. I have been on a beautiful spiritual journey, and then this happens. So, was this courage, in your opinion? I don't know what to call it.

Yopo< animalspiritwalk: WHOA! Sorry to hear about your recent troubles. I should maybe clarify that I made the preceding post before I saw yours. *S*

animalspiritwalk< Yopo: That's all right. I really don't know what drove me to that extreme. One thing I do remember is feeling the power within. It wasn't mine, and much bigger than me by all means. Yes, I am nervous about court. What do I tell the judge? "Oh, by the way, it was my spirituality within that drove me to use so much force." *LOL* If that doesn't put me in jail, definitely the funny farm.

Yopo< animalspiritwalk: *S* I don't think I'd take that approach with the judge. I'd probably emphasize that I thought my lady-friend was physically threatened and they actually put their hands on me.

animalspiritwalk< Yopo: That is the defense my attorney is going to use: "fear of physical harm" plus we do have witnesses of self-defense.

guitarist< animalspiritwalk: What you did in protecting your friend was courageous. Now, though, you're going to have to call on more courage, to maintain the rightness of your cause. You said that two of the guys grabbed you first. That's important to remember.

animalspiritwalk< From my previous post, I believe I was feeling my spirituality strong within, not to harm, but to protect. I could have gone in panic mode, yet I was very calm and orderly about it. I believe, without faith in a higher power, or faith of oneself, then chances are (speaking for myself) I would walk away from many situations ... physical and non-physical situations.

Ben< animalspiritwalk: What you did sounds to me like a conditioned response. Part of it may have been conditioned in this life, in the martial arts training, but most of it probably was conditioned in more than one previous life as a warrior. What you did would have been essential then and is essential now (in my opinion), but this society is trying to make self-defense and defense of others illegal.

animalspiritwalk< Ben: I have been thinking the same thing, but it still sounds nuts in this day and age.

Jello< Hmm. On the topic of self-defense, here's my favorite quote (part of it, rather): "Turn the cheek before being struck. Thus the attacked is saved hurt and the attacker is saved from committing sin." I recall a policeman friend who took up that philosophy and practice (Aikido) and was able to dramatically reduce the violence he had to use.

animalspiritwalk< Jello: Very well put. Normally that is how I am. If trouble is around, I remove myself from it without conflict (if possible, which it usually is) or don't put myself in situations that can have trouble waiting for me.

Jello< animalspiritwalk: You said the power wasn't yours? Do you know whose it was? I guess what I'm saying is -- and honestly this is kinda awkward for me because of course I don't know you or the situation at all -- but I just think the whole big question comes down to: Whose power was it? (Sorry, just had to say that.)

animalspiritwalk< Jello: I agree with you still, and your policeman friend. Do me a favor, though: place yourself in my situation. You are with a friend, three men are in front of you, two of them grab you. Now tell me, are you going to smile and see if they are just playing around? Hell, no, you will react in any way you can. The human body will pump enough adrenaline in you, which is called the fight or flight syndrome (for real). Now I own my part of the situation, that I didn't need to chase the third guy down. Yet like I said, I had no control over the situation. So with that said, please don't try to say I was wrong for my actions of self-defense (at least against the two that grabbed me), because you weren't there, and if you had been I believe if you were in my place, you would have reacted the same way I did (at least for the first two guys)!

Jello< animalspiritwalk: No, I definitely don't think self-defense is wrong. I'm sorry it came out that way. Very much failing to convey thoughts from my addled head tonight. Yopo spoke of anger ... I think that's more my question. I wonder if the energy was angry?

animalspiritwalk< Jello: In response to your question on whose power it was, I believe it may have been my Native American ancestor spirits within, or perhaps my spirit guides working through my physical being. I mean, I remember that I heard the chants, and more-so felt the chants, before this all took place. I asked my friend if she heard it. She said no. I asked because it stirred something within me; it even felt a little erotic.

[Ben< animalspiritwalk: Conditioned response from this life or past lives is one possible cause of actions such as you described. Discarnate influence is another. Perhaps your Native American (warrior) ancestor spirits did take control of your physical body in that situation. If so, they were the ones doing the chanting.]

Jello< Well, re-reading, I see now that I wasn't being helpful at all. I apologize. In any case, I guess your battle is now more a legal one. (Shudder) I really do hope you win.

Ben< Jello: "Turn the other cheek" is a deliberate choice by which one can overcome one's automatic fight-or-flight reaction. It is an example of self-control. However, it doesn't lead to peace when the striker is a bully. I learned that the hard way, and it took a long time, from the first day of first grade to the first week of my junior year in high school. That was when I discovered there are situations in which the only path to peace is a swift right cross to the bully's nose.

guitarist< animalspiritwalk: As Yopo said, the other thing is that they were after *her* first. I agree with Ben, that self-defense and other-defense is important, and I hope that it will not be made illegal. If we are supposed to lie down and die like jellyfish, we'll be right ... *dead* right ... and soon, to be perfectly legal. Then, I can see how no one will be safe, since we can't even defend our young children. Is that what's intended by the lawmakers?

animalspiritwalk< guitarist: I believe that is where the legal system is asking society to have the "courage" to call the police to let them do their "job"! I think that is a crock of shit. What would have happened if I didn't choose to do something? Surely no one else that witnessed this event had "courage" to help us out when my friend and I were out-numbered. I agree with your post 100%.

Creativlit< animalspiritwalk: I did something similar once when I chased a man down with an ax. I don't know where it came from within me, but for me it came from absolute self-preservation. It was almost instinctual behavior. I was threatened, and there was no thought to it, and I really never realized what happened until it was all done and said.

FlamingEagle< Creativlit: I would be careful about using Anger as a motivator. Usually anger is an emotion used to cover up more painful or distressing emotions.

Creativlit< No no no ... I don't see anger that way. I see it simply as a motivator emotion. It can be used constructively or deconstructivly. For me, it is what gives me the fire to try to do well and not give up, to keep on fighting each day and try to reach my goals. I take the things that make me angry and try to turn them into success ... for example, my frustration with peoples lack of understanding of my sons disability. I could fret and stew, complain, cry, and never accomplish anything, but using the energy of that anger and trying to turn it to something positive and not only benefit my son or my family I try to benefit others as well. So I now go out when asked and give public speeches about my sons disability to help educate and sensitize other people. I try to do that with most things that make me angry, and then try to accept the things I can't change: for those, I give ceremony to those emotions: I honor them their right of being, then mourn their passing and let them go.

FlamingEagle< Creativlit: OK, it looks like you are using the situation, creating the anger as your motivator then. That is different than a person doing things in a fit of anger. Thank you for clarifying for me. Hugs to you for being courageous by facing the situations.

Yopo< FlamingEagle: I agree that anger is sometimes a proper motivator, but it is dangerous to ACT in anger. There must be time for thought between motivation and response. Problem with anger is that it can be sorta free-floating, and spring back in response to things unrelated to its original source.

Creativlit< Yopo: I agree that there needs to be time when responding to anger. Myself, I take time out and away, and first try to define what it is that really bothers me ... what I can change, what I can't ... and sort it all out.

FlamingEagle< Yopo: I must disagree slightly about anger being free-floating. I once had a real problem with anger, and the key for me was to finally realize and accept that anger is an Action, not a Reaction. Anger is a choice. Rather than blaming a person or situation for your anger, you take control of it and CHOOSE whether or not to become angry in a situation.

Ben< FlamingEagle: Very good point about anger as an action rather than a reaction.

Creativlit< I somewhat agree on that. Anger is a verb, an action or activator, but I don't like the idea of squelching out or trying to deny feelings like anger or fear, because then they build up and can explode, or one buries them and they eat away at you from within. One way or another, its there and you have to deal with it. But I had the opposite problem: I had to learn to get angry. I had to learn to feel.

FlamingEagle< Creativlit: Don't bury the anger. I fully agree. Allow yourself to feel it AND the other emotions beneath it ... then deal with them.

Yopo< FlamingEagle: That comment I made was perhaps intended more as a reminder from me to myself. *S* Anger is one of my old personal demons ...

FlamingEagle< Yopo: OK. I remember thinking that I had made progress with my anger when I would get off the phone with my sis and be angry for only three hours, rather than three days. We have improved more since that time.

Yopo< FlamingEagle: *G*

guitarist< Ben: How are the lawmakers trying to make self-defense illegal? I mean, what justification are they using? It sounds like the "insanity defense" all over again. How many years did people suffer through that before we realized that it was itself crazy?

Ben< guitarist: Perhaps the lawmakers are trying to reduce violence in general. More likely they want more and more control over the population. Sheep ...

guitarist< Ben: baaaah! I hear ya!

Jello< What about the insanity defense? (confused)

guitarist< Jello: The insanity defense let a lot of murderers off the hook, especially when they started using it, I guess, about 25 years ago. This thing about trying to make self-defense and other-defense illegal is not the first stupid thing American lawmakers have done!

Sprinkles< It is sad, the way the laws are. You have to wait to be a victim. I have seen it in many cases. Our choices are our own.

Sprinkles< animalspiritwalk: If you applied the first bodily contact to these guys, and there are witnesses to testify to that, you very well may be held for that responsibility. If any of the three touched you or restricted your movement, with witnesses to that fact, you would have a good case. My hubby had a similar situation occur. The laws are strict, regardless of how many there are. The one to touch or restrict in any way first is the one held responsible for the outcome. That is what we learned. Not to strike the first blow.

animalspiritwalk< Sprinkles: Two of the three guys did grab me; one grabbed my arm, the other my leather jacket by my collar area.

Sprinkles< animalspiritwalk: Then have no fear, just a good lawyer that does his job in the researching of your case. You can also do your own follow-up if you can.

Yopo< animalspiritwalk: You must take care to show no anger in the courtroom when re-living the events that brought you there.

animalspiritwalk< Yopo: Yeah, you are right. I'm just getting heated up over re-living it now. *shakes head* // Jello: I want to apologize. Yes, I am heated up over this, and rightfully so, I believe, but I think some of my responses to you were on the abusive side, and for that I apologize. *S*

Jello< animalspiritwalk: It seems distinctly a justice issue, and I certainly don't blame you for being angry. (I'd be!)

guitarist< (((animalspiritwalk))): Be sure you walk into the courtroom with the Great Spirit beside you. I'll be praying for and with you.

animalspiritwalk< ((Jello)) and ((guitarist)): Thank you. *S* I need to step out, lighten up, loosen up, and come back down to earth. *S* Will look in ya later, everyone.

Jello< Blessing, animalspiritwalk!

LEGS< animalspiritwalk: Though this conversation/discussion is about courage, and your actions were courageous in the extreme ... and surely the young lady appreciated them ... a lot is going to hinge on whether you have had any similar charges against you previously, or other kinds of legal charges. You yourself said you don't really remember this, so I'm not sure courage is the right definition ... rather it was blind instinct of self preservation. Stark fear could have been the motivation.

Yopo< animalspiritwalk: *S* Yep. I know the drill. One can think about the thing that provoked the anger, and the anger returns even though the event has passed. If that happens in the courtroom, you will look the part of the aggressor even though you aren't. I would try to look the part of a choirboy set on by bullies en route to church. *G*

animalspiritwalk< LEGS: I thought about that also, but it happened so fast, I don't believe I had any fear. Yet again, there is much I don't remember ... and no, I was not intoxicated, either. *S* // Yopo: CHOIRBOY!!! Awwwww mannnnn, do I have to??? *LOL*

Yopo< animalspiritwalk: Just try to remember not to bow to the prosecuting attorney if you take the stand. *S*

guitarist< animalspiritwalk: I agree with Yopo. Your keyword is CHOIRBOY. *s* Blessings on you and your friend.

Jello< I have almost no legal clue except to say, "I hope you have a lawyer" or something stupidly cliché ... I do wish you the best, though.

guitarist< Seems as though just talking about courage gives the people in the room energy ... I can't believe we're all still here.

Creativlit< One thing I learned when appearing in court was: when in doubt as to what to say or how to act, just remain quiet and let your attorney do the talking for you ... and don't let the opposing attorney get your dander up.

Yopo< Courtrooms are as much a place of perception and emotion as of cool reason and justice. Alas ...

[Ben< Yopo: Our whole justice system seems to be going from reliance on reason to manipulation of emotions, and thus from rational to irrational.]

Yopo< Ben: That's my perception of the trend. They play the "fear" card a lot these days. That's one of the reasons I cautioned animalspiritwalk about courtroom appearances. An ambitious prosecuting attorney might point out his martial arts background, and make him look like a scary guy prone to going out of control. Jury then considers its own personal fears. A good defense attorney would take heed of that. But a display of anger might tilt the table.

Sprinkles< Yopo: I agree.

Ben< Yopo: I agree with you. That is what the prosecuting attorney will try to do. And if successful, the aggressors win and the defender is penalized. Justice? Not hardly.

Yopo< Ben: Sad thing, when a defense attorney has to also be a bit of an acting coach. *sigh* Ah well, maybe the matter won't even go to trial. Sometimes happens, after folks cool down.

[Ben< Monday night, 24 January, in Stonehenge, I sent a private message asking animalspiritwalk if he had been to court, and if so, how it went. I have his permission to post his reply. It shows a definite plus for the criminal justice system, this time, and is an example of how cases like this should always be dealt with, in my opinion. And yes, I sent animalspiritwalk my personal "Well done!" for the way he handled himself in court.]

[animalspiritwalk< Hello *S* and greetings to you. Yes, I went to court. Judge dismissed all charges. He asked me a question and said my attorney couldn't speak for me on this. His question was "Did you utilize your martial arts training?" My response was "No, sir." He asked "Then can you explain the damage done to them?" I responded "Yes, sir. They got off easy. Had I been utilizing my martial arts training, they would have been hurt more severely, sir." My attorney almost soiled his pants when I responded with that. The judge chuckled, as well as the court room and the guys' attorneys. The judge looked at the three guys, then me, and had us stand before him at the bench. He said they could be playing football for the University of Minnesota, and I did this to them all at once. They should be embarrassed to even bring me to court. Then he dismissed all charges. *VVVVVVVVVVVBS*]

LEGS< A girl here, with her eight-month old baby in the house, shot a "high" illegal crawling into her window. She had already called the police because he was trying to get in her door ... seems he probably had her trailer mixed up with that of a nearby dealer who was later caught and prosecuted ... but meanwhile the girl actually did have a nervous breakdown over the guilt of killing someone.

Yopo< LEGS: What a world, where a girl with a baby had need of a gun ...

guitarist< LEGS: I can understand her *feeling* guilty about it, but of course she shouldn't. The guy definitely had bad intentions, no matter what anyone else says. First her door, then her window! The moxie on him!

Jello< Isn't it said, though, that violently taking someone's life is to be avoided if at all possible? I can see the nervous breakdown, the guilt. I just gotta say: the horrible, horrible choices we sometimes have to make because of the choices of others. Reminds me that I need to be that much more considerate in my own decisions ...

FlamingEagle< Yeah ... sometimes we don't realize just how many people are affected by our actions.

guitarist< Jello: As I understand it, the commandment we're referring to is properly translated, "You shall not *murder* (rather than *kill*). The differences are those of intent and the order of events.

Jello< guitarist: I was actually thinking of various NDE accounts and channeled messages from various people about the topic.

[The following was interwoven with the previous discussion. I assembled it here.]

Jello< Fear-hope ... Cowardice-courage ... What's the opposite of anger?

Sprinkles< Jello: I would think that happiness would be anger's opposite.

FlamingEagle< Jello: Answer: the opposite of anger is the lack thereof.

Jello< Hmm, happiness doesn't seem quite like anger's opposite, because sadness is also opposed to happiness (and if we go by diametric opposites, this stops working out).

Yopo< Anger's opposite? Hmm ...

Sprinkles< Jello: Yes, I see what you mean. How about composure for the opposite of anger? Being in control of one's emotions.

Ben< Jello: One who doesn't get angry is referred to as placid.

Jello< Ben: Although one who never gets angry may also be apathetic ... ?

Ben< Jello: Yes, one who doesn't get angry may be apathetic, or complacent.

Jello< I can't wrap my wee brain around "joy" "happiness" "anger" "sadness" "peace" ... they are not opposites necessarily, but they do have positive and negative spiritual shadings ... Hmmm, didn't even Jesus get angry?

FlamingEagle< Jello: Yes, he did. There was a time for action in the situation.

Ben< Jello: Yes, Jesus was angry on occasion. The lesson is in what he got angry about.

FlamingEagle< Ben: Christ got angry when the elders set up money-changing tables in the temple. He got angry and overturned the tables, and I believe chased them out of there.

Sprinkles< Ben: Jesus was angry on occasion, but I don't recall him physically inflicting harm on another. The right to express the anger is there, verbally but not physically -- at least that is my thoughts on that matter. *S*

Ben< Sprinkles: I have been very interested in seeing precisely where Jesus drew the line regarding violence. I have a pile of notes from studying the Gospels on that point. Probably should write them up.

Sprinkles< Ben: I would very much like to read them. I know I have to research it now -- my curiosity has gotten the best of me in that area. (missed a lot) and very interesting. *VBS*

Yopo< Maybe emotions ought not be thought of as each having its opposite? Maybe they are each their own thing, though a predominance of one might create a psychic environment non-conducive to the other. But I have heard of the berserker's joyful rage. Love tinged with sadness. Even joy tinged with sadness. I suppose we have all experienced those sorts of mixtures.

guitarist< Yopo: And when Jews celebrate Passover, at the part when we talk of the plagues, drops of wine are spilled to remind us not to gloat over the deaths of the first-born Egyptians, because G-d created and loved them too. Our elation over victory must be mixed with sadness. I think a mixture of emotions is a sign that we see things from more than one perspective.

LEGS< Interesting comment on the mixtures of emotions, Yopo. A friend of mine who wrote love poetry as a high school girl was always using the line "smiling sadly" -- a sort of oxymoron that would always crack us up and we would end up giggling when the context really called for sadness.

Yopo< LEGS: *hehehe* he chortled sadly. Perhaps it was sorrowful giggling?

Jello< "smiling sadly" is a very common theme, at least in Asia ... or to be precise, Japan. Wow, I am really not in a good form tonight. Perhaps I should stop posting.

FlamingEagle< LEGS: Could "smiling sadly" be a wistfulness of expression? Smiling when the underlying emotion is one of sadness? Just playing with the words here, enjoying the mental stimulation.

Yopo< FlamingEagle: I think you've hit the nail. Complexity of emotion is hard to convey with words. And for young ones, a mysterious experience in the first place.

LEGS< FlamingEagle, Yopo: Yes ... and we sometimes hear of a rueful smile ... begrudging smiles ... guilty smiles. Goodness, we could go on all night, as the old song about the alphabet says. I rather like the wistful smile ... and my new great grandson has a rather smug smile ... he knows he is the boss at three months of age. *G*

FlamingEagle< Yopo: And also a tough one to handle in the extreme (young ones handling emotions). I am still waiting for my daughter to face some of the emotions we experienced in December (horrifying even for an adult). In time she will deal with it all, and I will be here for her.

Yopo< FlamingEagle: Forgive me, if I should remember what it is you are speaking of. I may have forgotten, or never known ... or missed a post.

LEGS< Yopo: I think I need a post catching mitt myself. *smiling mischievously*

FlamingEagle< Yopo: Are you asking about the situation we faced?

Yopo< FlamingEagle: Yes.

guitarist< FlamingEagle: I'm sure Yopo is asking about your situation, and now that I have the opportunity, so am I.

Yopo< But please don't go into it unless you want to ...

guitarist< FlamingEagle: I'm with Yopo there, too. I don't know you well enough to have initiated the question, although I would empathize with the situation.

FlamingEagle< On December 16th I learned that three days earlier my dad (who was bipolar, possibly schizophrenic, and refused meds) murdered his ex-wife (my step-mom) and my half-brother in his home, ignited the place, then committed suicide. I had spoken with him on the phone about an hour before this all happened, but had no idea it was coming. My husband, daughter, and I went through the ashes of his home the next day after talking to the investigator.

Jello< FlamingEagle: I'm very sorry to hear that. :(

Sprinkles< FlamingEagle: So sorry for your loss. ((((hugs))))

Ben< FlamingEagle: Ouch! What you described isn't an easy road to walk. Strength and steadiness to you.

guitarist< Oy, (((FlamingEagle!))) what a way to lose your family! I'm so sorry! {{{BIG HUGS}}} and protecting light to surround you and your daughter.

FlamingEagle< Thank you, guitarist. In time she will deal with it all ... when she is ready.

Yopo< FlamingEagle: Oh, jeez ... I am truly sorry. Yes, your daughter must certainly have emotions and questions she has yet to deal with. As must you all. Blessings ...

FlamingEagle< This has been a time of growth. I found a favorite statue of his -- an eagle. The paint and porcelain had burned off the metal base. I will recover it with clay and paint it as a brown eagle with red and yellow flames on the wings -- an image from a wellness site. This is where my name comes from.

Yopo< FlamingEagle: I would imagine the fact that no one saw this tragedy coming must cause a young one feelings of uncertainty and insecurity that would be hard to recognize and deal with.

FlamingEagle< Yopo: Actually the hardest thing for me has been the realization of the TRUE separation from Dad. I am telepathic, and can 'connect' with people far away. I have always been in contact with dad (like I am with my daughter) but am facing true separation from him now.

Jello< Perhaps the separation is only temporary, as he receives help on the other side?

Yopo< FlamingEagle: Perhaps the separation isn't as complete as it sometimes seems. I like to think that loving thoughts can still find their way to the one no longer with us. That there can be healing, too.

FlamingEagle< Yopo: True. If nothing else, this past Christmas brought me and my siblings much closer together. One thing which was mentioned at his memorial is that there is something in each of us which can be exploited and perverted and used for evil, so none of us can point a finger at another person for their actions. In the same light, we can also be used to bless others. It is our choice.

Yopo< FlamingEagle: Very true. Such things once done cannot be undone. But we can try to learn from them, and to forgive wrong choices. Bad endings tend to stay with us for a long time. But they shouldn't take away from all that came before. A bad ending does not undo all the love and kindness shown in a person's life. But it can sometimes loom so large in the pain it causes that it blinds us to that for a while.

Sprinkles< When my Mom passed away (two years ago) I wasn't meant to be there with her. I was stuck in a state of unfamiliarity in the worst snow storm. I couldn't go forward and I couldn't go back. I had traveled to see her. She was in the hospital with a broken hip. She was doing better and healing nicely. I had to catch the train back and felt all would be well. The train derailed and I was put up in a hotel in this strange city. Stuck. For three days. The phone call came. I never got to say good-bye until she came to me in my dream and asked what was wrong, her eyes full with tears. She would do anything for us kids. Here she was, worried for me. I just needed her hug, and I received it. That is when my healing came about. There are many possibilities, and I believe our loved ones are always there.

LEGS< Sprinkles: What a wonderful thing to have for your memory. I think the ways in which we can remember our loved ones can be enhanced by such a visitation, but I also think that we should discipline our thoughts to think on the good things to remember, the loving times and the dear sweet silly times we have shared. If we had parents who were of the old school and did NOT show affection as such, then we should recognize the sacrifices they made without murmur, without a great fanfare about it. I know, during the depression, my parents had it hard to feed three little girls, but we never heard it thrown up to us.

Sprinkles< I did not have things thrown up at me. My mom was a mother of 12 and she was very loving and caring. She was amazing -- at least that is how I saw her. I raised 3 children, and that was an awful lot for me. How she managed to raise 12 is beyond me. She was of the Old School, but with an abundance of Love and time.

LEGS< Sprinkles: Dear heart, I didn't mean to imply that your mother did throw things up to you. I meant that you had a wonderful "additional" memory to recall ... and those who do not, should recall the memories that are worthwhile and pleasing. Please forgive me if I caused misunderstanding.

LEGS< Sprinkles: On my magazine site, there is a story by Mary Taylor called "I remember Mama" ... you might relate mightily to it. If you read it, let me know what you thought. It is true ... the lady lives here in my town.

LEGS< Oh my ... hope Sprinkles isn't perturbed at me ... good nite everyone ...

Sprinkles< LEGS: No misunderstanding. I know what you meant, my friend. *VBS* I wasn't being defensive, just wanted to express my thoughts. Till next time... *poof*

LEGS< Thank you, Sprinkles. See you next class, I hope ...

FlamingEagle< Sprinkles: I'm glad you got your chance to tell your mom good-bye the way you did. I honestly think I got the chance the day he died. Sure, I didn't know he was about to die, but I had had regular conversations with him, which is something my other siblings hadn't had. I'm right now living daily and getting the most I can from each moment I have with my daughter.

LEGS< Good for you, FlamingEagle, to nourish your relationship with your daughter. Oddly enough, my husband and I talked to daddy on the phone the night before he passed away, and like you said, I had no intimation of the future ... none.

Yopo< Ben: This is asked in all seriousness and respectfulness -- have you ever found humor in the words of Jesus, or in the bible? ... That maybe didn't come out as I meant it. I meant deliberate humor that was put there.

Ben< Yopo: Oh, yes, there is a lot of deliberate humor in the sayings of Jesus. Mostly plays on words, like when he said some people will "strain out a gnat and swallow a camel."

Yopo< Ben: *S* That IS funny!

Jello< Yopo: There was a humorous pun in the Gospels Ben once pointed me to. // Ben: What was the great line about being gullible?

Ben< Jello: I don't recall the specific pun you mentioned right now, but this beatitude is amusing: where we read in English "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" the Greek text actually reads "Blessed are the gullible for they will relish God." The translators have Pablum-ized a lot of things Jesus said (and a lot of things Paul said).

Jello< Ben: Yes, that was the one, in fact. I hadn't realized it was the "pure in heart" translation!

Yopo< Ben: *S* I can sorta understand why THAT might have caught the business end of an editor's pen ...

Ben< ALL: Well, 'tis past my bedtime. Good thoughtful discussion tonight. Peace and blessings to each of you. *poof*

22. Courage
Session 3
Sat 29 Jan 2000

Ben< ALL: Last time we looked at some mental images of courage and cowardice, and discussed which we instinctively or intuitively like best. I presented two stone-age scenarios to illustrate how people might bring forward lessons they learned in a previous life, and ended with Webster's definitions of courage and cowardice.

Ben< ALL: Tonight I plan to expand the envelope in a different direction. Ready?

Sprinkles< Ready :)

Ben< QUESTION 1: I have often heard it said: "You've got to give him credit for having the courage of his convictions." Do you agree? If so, please give an example of someone to whom do you think that statement applies, and why. YOUR TURN

Sprinkles< Yes, I agree. For someone to take on something that others may think of as a tremendous burden, whether it be given to them or an unexpected adjustment to one's life. No matter what may come about, the individual continues to carry through with determination of making it through life to the best of his/her abilities.

guitarist< I think that if the convictions are true, then the courage will be also. Perhaps I should express this on a continuum: the more true the convictions, the more courageous the action will be to defend them. This is part of moral integrity. Recent example: Bruce A. Jacobs, author of very recently published "Race Manners: Navigating the Minefield between Black and White Americans." This author speaks reasonably to both sides. I just bought and am still reading it.

Yopo< Guess it shows courage to take the unpopular side of most any social issue. One who comes to mind is John Quincy Adams, as portrayed in the film "Amistad". (Watched that the other day.) And the justices of the Supreme Court who saw the truth of his words. Martin Luther King, who spoke his truth when he knew he would die because of it. M. Gandhi. Many come to mind ...

FRAML< Ben: It can be true if you agree with what the person is saying, but are hesitant to say it yourself. Alan Keyes is a person who speaks out on what he believes. & PrairWarur here in SWC.

Lo< It does take courage to stand up for what you believe, particularly when others you respect ridicule you, making light and fun of you. Martin Luther King appeared to have such courage.

Ben< I think that statement applies to people like Edward Jenner and Major Walter Reed. Jenner injected himself with smallpox to test his theory of immunization. Reed let himself to be bitten by mosquitoes to test his theory that they carry yellow fever.

greyman< Ben: It is usually said in a situation involving questionable judgment from the subject of credit. *G*

guitarist< greyman: In what sense questionable judgment?

Ben< greyman: Hmm ... yes, it is often a left-handed compliment by someone who doesn't agree with the convictions expressed.

guitarist< Ben, greyman: It seems that we don't see too many standing for much of anything. BTW, I want to express my congratulations to animalspiritwalk, whenever he should walk in here, for his victory in court earlier this week.

Ben< guitarist: Yes, I was most pleased to see how animalspiritwalk handled himself in court.

greyman< guitarist: "You've got to give him credit for having the courage of his convictions" -- said about a kid took a dare and stuck his tongue on the sub-zero flag pole and it got stuck. Other examples should come to mind involving any one you may know who takes a conviction to extravagant extremes.

Sprinkles< Oh, I wasn't looking at the extreme acts of convictions ... interesting ... hmmm.

guitarist< Hmmm. I wouldn't have thought of the kid who got his tongue stuck on a flagpole as having the courage of his convictions. Supporting unpopular but appropriate and necessary causes would be an example for me ... One of the finer points of communication that I still must learn, I guess.

FRAML< guitarist: I would say that the boy was fool-hardy for his action. Or that he unwisely accepted a dare.

Ben< QUESTION 2: Do you think the statement "You've got to give him credit for having the courage of his convictions" is necessarily a compliment? If so, why? If not, why not? YOUR TURN

Sprinkles< Yes and no, as a compliment, depending on the knowledge I have of the conviction one has and the situation. It compliments the determination of the individual in stating a fact, taking a firm stand, not backing down. (All depending on what my knowledge is of the situation.)

FRAML< Ben: I have to agree with greyman's comment that it is most often given as a criticism rather than a true compliment. It is a way of denigrating a person and their beliefs.

Ben< greyman: Hah! You sure answered my second question with that bit about the kid who got his tongue stuck on the flag pole.

Yopo< Ben: *S* Your comment to greyman about left-handed complements sorta foreshadowed what I'd say about that too. Seems a recognition of what is thought of as an admirable quality of character -- the courage part -- while still leaving room to take issue with what the person stands for. I suppose you could compliment someone that way and STILL think them to be a complete idiot. *LOL*

LEGS< Courage of HIS convictions seems to indicate to my mind that few people hold with his convictions, whatever they are, but that he has demonstrated a willingness and determination to abide with his own.

Lo< Ben: I have always thought it was a compliment. It probably still is, even if you do not agree with the conviction yourself. Anyone that doesn't stand up for what they say is their conviction generally loses face for appearing wish-washy.

Ben< Lo: Yes, good point -- "wishy-washy" isn't a compliment.

guitarist< I don't hear this often, so I don't know. Greyman and Ben were talking about a "left-handed" compliment. I would say that, if it is, the person doesn't understand why the decision was made. Next time I hear that statement, I'll ask, "What do you mean by that?"

Jan43< I think that "courage" is not what is apparent to the central figure. To them it is a matter of conviction. It is amazing how many people seen as "strong" would never apply that term to themselves. To follow convictions is to make decisions from a value base that is self-determined. If one doesn't agree, and would have acted differently in a situation, then the value bases differ. Admiration is a recognition of the higher state of conviction in the hero?

Ben< I think that statement isn't necessarily a compliment, because it applies equally to Adolph Hitler and Jesus Christ, Genghis Kahn and Mahatma Gandhi. In my opinion, what a person's convictions are is of primary importance. How strongly one holds his or her convictions is of secondary importance.

Ben< guitarist: The opinion I expressed in my last post is one of the tools I use for discernment.

guitarist< Ben: Thanks for clarifying, using Adolph Hitler and Genghis Khan as part of the example. I never really understood statements like that.

FRAML< Ben: And then there are politicians who have no convictions to stand by; and who should be convicted to keep us safe from their lack of convictions. *G*

Yopo< FRAML: I will refrain from asking you for an example of such a person. *S*

guitarist< Ben: I never gave Hitler credit for conviction, so I guess I never thought a statement like that could be used of him, or that courage could be attributed to him. What do I know?

[Ben< guitarist: I have heard precisely that statement said of Hitler -- and other fanatics -- although, like you, I do not agree with it in those cases.]

FRAML< guitarist: Hitler had several convictions: one for leading a revolt against the government of Bavaria in 1923, another posthumous at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

guitarist< FRAML: I don't think that's what Ben is referring to. Hitler had convictions that Jews, homosexuals and the mentally ill should not live, and that others he considered subhuman should be used as long as they could work, and then be left to die. Does this invite a statement like "You have to give him credit for the courage of his convictions"? I think not, my friend.

FRAML< guitarist: You missed my pun on Hitler's convictions. I was not referring to his beliefs.

guitarist< FRAML: I know you weren't talking about Hitler's beliefs, but the decisions about him in court. Now that we've clarified what we mean before the world, let's move on ... *g*

Lo< Ben: I do not see the connection between having courage to stand up for a conviction and what those convictions may be. I can grant Hitler, etc., as having courage to stand for whatever they believe without necessarily honoring them for that conviction. Do you mean to imply that for us to think some one has courage, we must honor and respect them and/or their ideas?

Ben< Lo: A lot of people do suggest or imply that we should honor a person for his or her courage regardless of what he or she believes or does. But I don't agree with them.

Lo< Ben: I agree with you there; but that is not the issue. Granting credit for someone standing for their conviction is NOT necessarily honoring them for that, as I see it.

LEGS< Lo: I think the word "credit" tends to mean adding to or extending grace, so one could interpret granting credit for someone standing for their conviction as "approval" of that person and the conviction.

Lo< LEGS: I guess I take words more literally. In giving someone CREDIT for STANDING UP for what they say they believe, I tend to think I am merely saying I respect them for not having a lack of courage to back up what they're saying, which would just leave their statement a nonsensical muddle.

guitarist< Ben and Lo: I guess this is the downside of courage ... its misuse even, when it is applied to false or bad beliefs.

FRAML< Aren't convictions a set of beliefs or moral values by which one lives?

Jan43< FRAML: I think that convictions are a subgroup of the general category of values. They are the values that we have made firm, though changeable, decisions about. Conviction as a word speaks about a depth of belief.

Ben< SCENARIO 1: Suppose you are sitting in a Chicago bus station in December 1941. Your country is at war. You have your draft notice. You are waiting for the bus to take you to report for duty with the U. S. Army. You hear the President speaking on the radio. He says "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." How do you feel about that? Are you encouraged? What do you say to yourself?" YOUR TURN

greyman< Ben: Bacon.

Ben< greyman: Bacon? Please translate.

greyman< Ben: I would have said "buts" but that expression is taken. I do not appreciate much of Roosevelt, and his statement "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!" seems trite to me. I would be blown into bacon for other ideals.

FRAML< Ben: That particular quote has never made any sense to me. Other than possibly being a variant of "Don't take counsel of your fears."

LEGS< Refresh is so slow, I'm out of context with the questions. December 1941: My thought would be: "How does he know?"

Jan43< I might be led, in your example, Ben, to be swayed by the conviction espoused in a mass media format, but at some point of the "journey" I may feel the need to make a decision based on convictions that are being confronted by some pretty gut-churning realities. And then I may make another decision; e.g., to desert, to endure, to bide, etc.

[Ben< Jan43: Good point about being temporarily swayed by the president's words and then perhaps making a different decision when confronted with realities.]

Yopo< I might have looked out the bus window at the falling snow, and wondered if those words applied to me. It isn't fear that'll kill you, most of the time ...

guitarist< I think that it must be pretty bad wherever I'm going. I think fear is a tool for self-preservation when used properly. I am not encouraged at all by the President's statement, but I think that if I keep my head, learn my new territory (if I have the chance) and listen to my intuition as I learn more, I have a better chance to survive and bring others with me ... and I have to pray a lot, too!

Sprinkles< I feel it takes me to think within: If this is the path I must walk, to walk it and to put my fears in God's hands, as a guidance through whatever may come about on this path before me. To do what I must, and to trust whatever the outcome may be. To trust in the power that created me. Comfort.

Ben< I would feel amused: "Hah! That's easy for him to say. He isn't going where I'm going." And I might be reminded of the saying: "It is easy to be brave from a safe distance." (Aesop)

guitarist< Ben: Exactly. If I could find someone with that perspective, I probably would adopt it. Especially with a commander-in-chief who never fought.

LEGS< I do know that many were caught up in the fervor of patriotism and the conviction that God was on OUR side. I often heard the rally slogan, "If God be with us, who can be against us?"

Yopo< Probably FDR was addressing what he perceived as the prevailing national spirit of the moment. In that sense, his words MADE sense. As an acknowledgment that he understood what the people were feeling.

Ben< SCENARIO 2: Now suppose you're a soldier in a landing craft headed for Omaha Beach on D-Day. Your Lieutenant yells: "Remember what the President said! The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!" How do you feel about that? What (if anything) do you say to the Lieutenant? YOUR TURN

Yopo< *LOL* In THAT context, I would probably conclude that THIS guy is either a complete moron, or thinks WE are.

greyman< I would have said "Nuts" ...

guitarist< "With permission to speak frankly, sir ... SHUT UP!"

Yopo< ... unless he was a comedian. This might have been an attempt at comic relief.

guitarist< Yopo: You might be right there. Comic relief would have been most welcome at that point.

Sprinkles< Yopo: I agree.

Ben< I'd yell back at the Lieutenant: "Too late! I already soiled my underwear!"

FRAML< "That dumb sh** 2nd looey! I'm scared sh**less, but this is necessary to beat the Nazis. I don't want to do it, but I have to do it." Also, I remember the thought I had while standing at the water's edge at low tide in June 86 looking toward the cliffs on which the American Cemetery now stands at Normandy. I was thinking "My G-d, how did those guys have the guts to cross that beach?"

Yopo< FRAML: The currents of history bring men to a beach. Fear is part of the environment. One is left with faith, conviction, and no way to survive but move forward. Thus are the cemeteries of fallen warriors filled ... *sigh*

guitarist< FRAML: Understanding what we're fighting for is important; knowing that we're fighting a most dangerous foe would be helpful to me in bucking up for what is to come.

LEGS< My late husband once commented on his bemused thoughts while getting to the beach ... Omaha Beach on D-Day ... that he had not realized that the water in that part of the world was red ... and it was a few days later before the reason popped into his mind when he saw a puddle of blood and water in a bomb crater.

Sprinkles< I would be afraid, and would most likely be trying to convince myself not to be afraid, with heart pounding, and praying for guidance and protection because this just well may be my future as well as others at stake. I would say to the Lieutenant, "Sir, pray for us all as I am doing right this minute."

LEGS< Sorry ... the point I meant to make is: When historic time is what you are living, being part of such a momentous event, your thoughts may be totally irrelevant ... not courageous ... not cowardly ... but deliberately keeping oneself from dramatizing one's duty.

Ben< COMMENT: In situations like that, if you are not in denial (deluding yourself), you are afraid. But if you let your fear paralyze you, you aren't likely to make it to the beach. Therefore, you need to do something to strengthen your courage. But a show of bravado may or may not help. Humor -- and especially "GI humor" -- may have a better effect.

LEGS< I feel that some moved forward on anger and righteous indignation as well.

Ben< LEGS: Anger can stimulate or simulate courage, but it tends to burn up internal resources very quickly. Righteous indignation is usually less powerful but longer-lasting.

Sprinkles< LEGS: I can see that, too. Perhaps that is the means by which they might have had strength available to them -- those emotions having to be their strength to move forward.

Ben< COMMENT: According to Webster's Dictionary, bravado is pretended courage or defiant confidence where there is really little or none. Thus, there is a difference between real courage and apparent courage. As I see it, this difference is between inner reality and outward appearance.

Yopo< Ben: Maybe sometimes a bit of bravado doesn't hurt? A "fake it 'til you make it" sorta approach. Bravado is only distasteful to me the day before and the day after the battle. *S*

Ben< Yopo: Yes. As I said, bravado may or may not work. And as you said, it has an unpleasant after-taste.

dead< I find bravery happens for good reasons, but when a similar "I don't care" type bravery happens, less rewarding and less successful than the true bravery. Good reasons = true bravery ... bad reasons = I don't care, gung-ho attitude.

[Ben< The following post by a visitor is typical of many that I see in chatrooms and receive in emails.]

catmoon< Merry meet all. I have a question for anyone here. I've recently found out that I can channel, and the last time I did it, it left me drained with a killer headache. I'm looking for any information on how to control this, how to shield, better control the number of voices, and better identify who is talking. Any advice is good.

dead< catmoon: Good question. To find or get rid of any beings, don't depend on one thing found through this, but thing found through love-definitive structures. I offer that.

Ben< ALL: Okay, the hour is over. I do have another exercise if you wish to stay longer. What is your pleasure?

dead< Thanks, Ben, for your good efforts.

guitarist< Stay, Ben. What do you want to ask?

Sprinkles< Ben: Please go on, I enjoy the food for thought. :)

Ben< Okay ... talequah ... I'll post the exercise.

[guitarist, via private message: What is talequah?]

Ben< guitarist: Talequah is Cherokee for "two is enough" *smile* I was thinking that two responses are enough to make it worthwhile to post the exercise.

LEGS< Ben: Please continue, but please don't leave tonite until you tell us about your experiences with the weather there. Is it complicating things for you?

Ben< LEGS: I was able to get my driveway clear from the last storm because a dear friend brought over his snow-blower. Otherwise I would still be frozen in. Next storm is due tonight or tomorrow morning.

LEGS< Ben: Glad you had the snow-blower ... because I just read a report that says even very young people are dying trying to shovel the snow. It is a matter of escalating the heart action due to the extreme weather making even walking more of an exertion than in moderate temperature.

Ben< ALL: If you are willing to do so, please describe an episode in your life where you were afraid, but managed to do what you chose to do. What did you think or say or do, to muster up your courage or reduce your fear? YOUR TURN

LadyV< The word is "chose" ... not immediate handling of crisis that would put the fear of God into you? Is that what you are saying Ben?

[Ben< LadyV: It can be either an immediate crisis or a prolonged situation.]

guitarist< The day my little brother was killed by a car in front of me, I was mighty, mighty scared. Besides having nearly been hit myself, I thought about my mother. She would kill me! (And, as it turned out, there were times when I wished she had.) I thought: I have to get help! I made a decision then and there: that I would dedicate the rest of my life to him. And then I yelled for help with all my strength. I just had to. I would have never been able to live with myself otherwise. As it was, the guilt I felt at having contributed by being in that place at that time was more than enough to overcome.

Ben< guitarist: Thank you. You didn't let it paralyze you.

guitarist< At the time, my mother wondered at how I could keep my composure to act as I did. It was only later (probably a week or two at most) that she began to act horribly toward me, as though it was my fault. This continued for three years.

greyman< guitarist: Such sorrow, such loss. My aunt was killed by a drunk driving a car with a baby in his front seat. My aunt is dead, his baby is dead, and he got off on a technicality.

guitarist< ((((GREYMAN)))) The person who hit my brother ran, and I didn't get a license number. So, s/he basically got away with it, by being a coward. I hope s/he's on the Internet now and lurking: this may be his/her opportunity to repent.

LadyV< guitarist: Projection is often very painful. I hope you and your Mother worked it out. How little you were ...

guitarist< LadyV: Mom knows now that I tried to save him. I was sixteen, my brother, seven and a half.

LadyV< guitarist: Glad it has eased for all of your family.

Lo< guitarist: I do not understand just why you felt you were responsible for what was obviously an accident. Your mother probably was just reacting to her own grief and sense of loss, and rationalized by trying to find someone to blame and vent her emotions on, and you were simply convenient. It is a shame she did not nurture you more with your sense of loss and shock. If one of my daughters had a similar experience, I guess I would wish that she had been more responsible in preventing the tragedy, while knowing deep down that she really would have preferred that it hadn't happened. At such a young age, youngsters are very impressionable and subject to being damaged with serious psychological impact on their whole future life.

guitarist< Lo: You are right: my mother was reacting to her grief. I don't think, however, that you would have subjected your daughter to interrogation every day. I certainly to this day regret that it ever happened. It has affected my entire life. To this day, I am barren, for no reason anyone can figure. In a few years, age will be the reason ... and menopause.

Lo< guitarist: I sense your mother did not have the maturity then to realize what she was doing to you by dumping her revenge (perhaps) for her loss on you.

guitarist< Lo: "dumping her revenge (perhaps) for her loss on you": the funny thing was, mom had heard a year later from someone she trusted about who the killer was, and she forgave that person, but continued to grill me and blame me. She must have finally given up on that some time ago; she doesn't heap that kind of scorn on me now.

[Ben< I have assembled the dialogue following each response to this exercise.]

Yopo< OK. I was a freshman in college. 1968. Confused about who I was, but draft-deferred. Fearful of the reaction of parents and peers, and of my own lack of courage, I dropped out, returned home, and enlisted. Not sure of my motivations even now, but it was necessary for me to be who I am. I ignored my fears until the course was set, and they became irrelevant.

LadyV< I like that "It was necessary for me to be who I am."

Yopo< LadyV *hehehe* Maybe just a way to rationalize.

LadyV< Yopo: (smiling) Stop fudging ... you had a moral backbone, and what else could you have done but defend your country? Of course, on the other hand, those that chose otherwise felt they were right also. Such a country ... we can all disagree ... and yet survive.

Ben< Yopo: Do you remember what you said to yourself when you decided to enlist?

Yopo< Ben: I thought "My God, I must be completely out of my mind!" *G* I think I just set a course, and decided to see it through.

[Ben< Yopo: Yes. Thank you. I think it takes one type of courage to set a course, and another type of courage to see it through.]

LEGS< Actually, I'm such a coward that I can't think of going through my fear ... Have to at times, like fearing the death of a loved one, and standing by through the medical complications, is more a determination than strength or courage ... like if you aren't there, they won't make it. However, I nearly turned completely away from praying when my two-year-old didn't make it despite the best of medical procedures known at the time. Guess I thought that sincere prayer would do the trick, but it didn't.

Yopo< LEGS: I think maybe you are too self-critical, my friend. That isn't how I see you at all. *S*

order< ((((guitarist))) (((((LEGS)))))) Very loving hugs.

guitarist< {{{{{{((((((LEGS)))))}}}}}}}

LEGS< Thank you for the vote of confidence, Yopo. *s* ((((order)))) You are always a sweet one. ((((guitarist and sprinkles))) May God bless you.

guitarist< ((((order)))) Thank you.

Ben< LEGS: Yes. Thank you. Not turning away from God or prayer when your son died is an excruciating example of what I meant when I said that courage can be used in maintaining direction, not turning aside.

LadyV< LEGS: I have never understood why God is silent sometimes. I do not know why in the case of your son. I do know that the prayer of relinquishment is all any of us can do ... and that is the hardest thing in life to do ... it is the only comfort left in trying times.

guitarist< (((((LEGS))))) That you still walk with G-d is evidence of your courage indeed. I didn't believe in G-d -- wasn't encouraged to -- when my brother died, but if I had, who knows how I would have reacted? Blessings on you, dear heart!

LEGS< LadyV, guitarist: How deeply such things sink into our psyche ... and whether we realize it at the time or not, it is a shaping thing for our character. Some may be turned into bitter and recriminating people ... and others may learn greater compassion by knowing how much they would have appreciated some themselves.

Yopo< LadyV: I think prayer is always heard, and always answered in some fashion. But I don't expect it to give control over events or their outcomes. Sometimes it may be weighed in the balance. What I REALLY think it does is keep our hearts open to the possibility of greater understanding.

LEGS< Yopo: That is a wonderful reason to keep praying ... thank you for that perspective!!!

LadyV< Yopo: Good point.

LEGS< LadyV: I was told later by the doctor, after the autopsy report was done, that had he lived longer, he would have been in unbearable, daily pain, as his kidneys were almost completely crystallized ... a genetic problem ... so now I am grateful for having had him as long as I did ... 2 years and almost 4 months.

Walt< (((LEGS))))

LEGS< (((Walt)))

Sprinkles< I was devastated when, at the age of 47, having been the do-er in my work, which was always physically labor (I enjoyed it tremendously), I woke up one morning not being able to stand with pain, not being able for anyone to help me. The slightest touch was extremely painful. It was as if my nerve endings were all exposed. The pain and the emotional turmoil was unbelievable. It made me think and wonder: "Dear God what have I done? Why is this happening to me? I have tried so hard to fulfill your faith in me." It took four years, and a lot of testing. It was not my back, which everyone thought might be a degenerating thing, but my muscles. I couldn't take the rides back and forth, but each day my prayers were answered. I had to accomplish those drives. I had to. If I didn't, I would never know why I was in this situation. What finally did it -- made it bearable -- was knowing what it was and how to work with it. It is called Fibromyalgia. It is constant and uncontrollable muscle aches all over -- to the point one day I thought I had broken my nose. I didn't, but the day before I had laughed so much the muscles around my smile and nose hurt. They are like charley horses, and very tiring and never ending. I tried to rationalize it with the thought that so many times my body was crying "Stop! Take care of me!" I didn't listen then, but I most definitely listen now.

Ben< Sprinkles: Oh, my ... the courage it takes just to keep on keeping on, in the face of pain. Thank you. Blessings ...

order< (((Sprinkles)))) ((((Yopo)))) Very loving hugs! Such great, great courage being shared here ...

LadyV< Sprinkles: Dealing with Fibromyalgia is tough. It is only now being understood. On some days, for you to get up out of bed in the morning takes courage.

Sprinkles< LadyV: Working with the knowledge of just how much I can do, and what I can do, has helped tremendously. I cannot continue things straight through, but if I change my physical motions, then it isn't too bad. I only go down for half the day, not a full one, if I listen to my body. But you know what? My spirit is forever strong. :)

LadyV< Sprinkles: You are brave ... it helps not to get too upset if you can avoid it. Keep toxic people out of your hair when you can. It keeps the pain level down to relax when you can.

KARENLIGHTWORKER< Hello all! Sprinkles, I relate to your anguish. After my daughter was born my back started giving problems.

LadyV< One of my old ones told me once: "You do what you gotta do" and I considered she was right. Just face it head on ... regardless the fear. Considering she was 93 years old, I felt she knew what she was talking about.

guitarist< ((((Sprinkles)))) I was looking for something else at work one day and I read about Fibromyalgia. I can only imagine the pain. I can only pray that the love you receive from others (including G-d) would be healing to you.

Sprinkles< To all, thank you very much. ((hugs)) The funny thing is, now I actually have time to stop and listen to others. I also have discovered other so-called talents I didn't have time to acknowledge. It is unbelievable. There are no toxic people in my life. If anything, the beauty in the souls of others I can see, and it is indeed beautiful.

Ben< ALL: The example I prepared now seems trivial by comparison, but I'll go ahead and post it as a small illustration.

LEGS< (((Ben))) I would never doubt your courage. (((MaryHugs)))

Ben< When I first came into the Air Force, I had to go through a "confidence course" at Lackland AFB. At one point, while I was running through a narrow passage between high steel walls, a six-foot-high wall of flames suddenly shot up in front of me and continued burning. I stopped and stepped back. I felt the heat and stepped back again. I was afraid to go any closer. But I knew I was being tested to see what I would do. I looked at the base of the flames. They were coming from gas jets about four inches apart -- but there was only one row of them. I thought: "I can go through this, if I do it quickly." I tied my boot-laces around my pants-legs to keep the fire out, pulled my jacket collar up over my head, put my hands over my face under the jacket, and ran through the wall of flames. I wasn't burned. There was a small round of applause from the instructors standing on top of the walls. One said "Bravo!" but I wasn't sure I deserved it, because I was much less afraid after I had figured out what I could do.

LadyV< Ben: You used reason to combat your fear. Smart man. Most of us ... well, OK, "Ze Chicken" here would have run the other way ... that's fire, you know.

Yopo< Ben: *S* Maybe to set fear aside long enough to evaluate the situation WAS the test?

Ben< Yopo: Yes, I think that was the test those who designed it had in mind.

LEGS< Ben: I think that illustrates one of the worst things about fear ... it freezes one where they stop thinking and looking for solutions. So, your mind never really stopped working to meet your challenge that day. Indeed, bravo ... for not giving in to fear so you only saw the flames and not the source. The term "blind fear" means just that ... one stops seeing anything, and even emotional reaction can shut down.

guitarist< Ben: I think the "bravo" was for your thought process. Not many would have kept their heads in that situation, much less their entire bodies. This looks like more than a test of courage to me.

WhiteOak< Hello, all. I've often said fear is not a bad thing -- it's good teacher. In this case, fear said "Better check this out, Dude." Whenever I've been in life threatening situations, my thinking becomes crystal clear.

Yopo< WhiteOak: Interesting point! The physiological manifestations we associate with fear are much like the ones that come with excitement: adrenaline, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, dilated pupils. All of that can make the senses more acute and the mind quicker, or paralyze ...

WhiteOak< Yopo: I just hear fear getting a bad rap. In it's place, it's not such a bad thing. Same with all that stuff -- lust, anger, hunger, greed. Like the taste for sugar, it stems from a natural source. It's this weird society we live it that forces us to shape these impulses. I think repressing these impulses is destructive. You have to sorta embrace and understand them.

Yopo< WhiteOak: Yeah, I think most of us would agree that fear has an important function. It is often inappropriate, though, and can become more of an obstacle than the things that invoke it.

Sprinkles< Yopo: Yes, like in the scenario Ben posted last time about the caveman and the bear. It might of been cowardly but it was a human reaction, one that might not have been controllable in that instance.

LadyV< Yopo: Those that are sensitive often experience fear as a warning ... sorta a sixth sense. It keeps you from walking in some areas. It's a gut reaction, for want of a better term. I think good military officers have an acute sense of fear. They respect it. Does that make sense to you, Yopo?

Ben< LadyV: Good point. Calibrated fear is a built-in warning system.

Sprinkles< LadyV: I don't know if I can agree with that. I heard a lot of warnings and signs that I did not listen to or stop to see. They were there, but I was too busy to acknowledge. I respect fear now because of what I went through. But I have learned now to tune that sixth sense with all other senses. :)

LadyV< Sprinkles: Good for you, that you can tune that sixth sense with all the senses. Not all can do that ... I don't know the reason.

Flaming_Eagle< Sprinkles: Even with warnings, sometimes our own disbelief, doubt or mistrust (of ourselves or others) prevents us from heeding 'warnings' we have of an impending situation ... no matter what the source is.

Yopo< LadyV: Oh yes. I think sometimes a twinge like that is used to alert us to something. Our minds seem to be compartmentalized to some extent. There's a part that is alert and watchful, below the level of consciousness. It taps us on the shoulder sometimes to get our full attention.

LadyV< Yopo: OK... "below the level of consciousness" is a good way to describe it. Is it primal, Yopo?

Yopo< LadyV: Hmm ... I would think maybe it is. A more primitive part of the mind maybe, left over from times when physical danger was fairly constant. But I don't rule out the possibility that a tap on the shoulder might be from an external source, either. *S*

LadyV< Yopo: Sometimes I think the tap on the shoulder should be a kick in the seat of the pants ... as to how we hear it. I agree, Yopo: I often think the Almighty and his helpers aid us sometimes this way. It comforts me to think that anyway.

Ben< COMMENT: There are three basic reactions to fear: freeze, flight, and fight. Courage can be described as the inner power to overcome any one (or two, or all three) of those reactions.

guitarist< Ben: Basically, overcoming the stress of the moment to think about the appropriate course of action ... ?

[Ben< guitarist: Yes; for example, to overcome the stress for a moment in which to think and decide which of the three natural reactions is most appropriate.]

LadyV< I had to combat fear when I had an intruder attempt to break into my home. I heard him pop the window, and I was on my feet with a weapon. I did not stop to think, I just knew it was me or him ... and I wasn't going to be the one down on the floor. I was so mad at the invasion of my privacy. The intruder at that point retreated. I say to this day that he did not bet on me being ready for a fight. It was just an outrage, and I was not going to put up with it.

Ben< LadyV: In the case of the intruder in your home, your fight reaction was appropriate and successful.

Ben< COMMENT: Courage is a type of power. More specifically, it is the power in will-power. It can be used to change your direction (turn and face what you fear) or to maintain your direction (unwavering steadiness of attitude or purpose). And it is the inner power by which you can make yourself do what you choose to do -- but only if it is stronger than your inner resistance (fear, doubt, uncertainty, laziness, depression, mental or emotional fatigue, etc). Thus, there are two ways to make yourself do what you choose to do: increase your inner power, or reduce your inner resistance. There are various ways to do each of those two things.

dead< Thanks. I will power ... my own. Don't depend on willing other's powers (and it can be done). Accept through definitive love, definitions and verbal contracts, or non-verbal inner contracts, with love as a part specifically or it isn't with love (if you're not careful). Have the courage to avoid neato things with no love. Don't join unloving forces for any reason. Accept WITH your own love, if it is an event for you for that. Figured I'd leave with a comment for everyone to ponder. Thanks.

Ben< dead: Nice post. *smile* I plan to look at the relationship between love and courage next week.

dead< Thanks, Ben. Are you here every week same time?

Ben< dead: Most Saturday nights at 11:00 pm Eastern time. Sometimes I take a break. Seminars and topics are posted here a few days in advance. Transcripts of previous seminars are on my website.

dead< Thanks. Bye for now.

Ben: /topic OPEN

Star12< Sorry, Ben ... got here late ... topic is fear?

Ben< Star12: Okay. The topic was courage. But the seminar is over, so this is open chat.

Star12< Sorry to have been so late, Ben.

[Ben< Star12: Okay. *Smile* Good to see you.]

LadyV< How is it that some sense or smell the fear on others, and some are oblivious to it? Is it lack of experience, or is it lack of understanding? I wanted to ask that ...

Sprinkles< LadyV: I like that question ... hmmmm (thinking)

Yopo< LadyV: I thought smelling fear was mainly something dogs can do. *S*

LadyV< Yopo: Nope! Humans can do that also ... some that are highly tuned and simple ... can and do ... the body chemistry changes in fear.

Star12< Fear of what, LadyV?

LadyV< Star12: Some sense fear or smell fear on other people or animals. Other people do not experience this sensing or comprehending of fear in another person or an animal. I do not know why. Is it lack of understanding or experience?

Flaming_Eagle< LadyV: I think lack of understanding, and even more-so doubt, which prevents people from being in tune on the '6th' level about people. Beyond fear, there are things about people which you can be in tune to if you are open to such possibilities. *personal opinion here*

LEGS< LadyV: On being oblivious to fear ... sometimes one just trusts that all will be well, as it always has been, and goes on through something that later may cause people to say "Where did he find the courage to do that?" So, truly, this would be an example of lack of experience in being afraid, because of more positive conditioning.

LadyV< Thank you. I was thinking also, when you deal with people that cannot communicate verbally with you, or with an animal, one would have to go one step more to sense fear. Maybe it's the eyes. Maybe it's the tight muscles. It's something, and you either pick up on it or your don't. I am wondering if we have lost some of this by being too civilized. Do not know. // Flaming Eagle: I had not thought in terms of doubt ... see that you are right. // LEGS: Trusting that all will be well ... good point there also.

Star12< Should be able to sense fear on people by their face ... animals by their action. Smell? Do they really, or do they see?

dead< psychicness is real ... 6th sense is related.

Sprinkles< LadyV: Maybe it isn't smell. Maybe it is the vibrations that come off of a person. But then I have heard the saying: "The smell of Death is near." (I don't know where I heard it.)

LadyV< Sprinkles: Could be a vibration. The smell of death is a sweet decay smell ... most likely an Irish statement ... I am not sure.

Sprinkles< LadyV: Some people are self-taught to tune in to an instinct that they have acquired through their own experiences.

Yopo< LadyV *shiver* I recall a fragment of a line from a song: "The smell of death is upon you ... " A song about drug addiction, as I recall.

LadyV< Yopo: Reality is harsh sometimes.

winter< I have seen a great deal of death. Never noticed an actual fragrance, just a brief stopping of time ... transition.

dead< The vacuum of the body of consciousness leaving the body, and the aura removed, and the leftover effects, creates a smell beyond taste smell. The result is overwhelming, somehow not a scent from the tissue ... a connection with more ...

LadyV< dead: There are Saints that die and have the fragrance you describe. There are Great Masters that also do this. I work with people that are dying ... the elderly. I am possibly in an environment that is a bit different, I do not know. I am very sensitive to nature ... my experiences may be different.

dead< LadyV: They may be close to the transition and ready; dying is made a gentle thing for some ... many different life deaths. Yes, I've had a few. (Did I have the death I've felt during an Near Death Experience? I don't know). Those places (no offense intended) where the elderly die a lot ... they smell funny a little? A tingle in you in the air like nowhere else?

Yopo< LadyV: You've really got me thinking about this "scent" business now. Scent of fear, of death, odor of sanctity ... I had never really inventoried how many such phrases are commonly heard, or what they might actually imply ...

Sprinkles< Ben: I have been very limited in resources to obtain a good search on how Jesus handled anger. I've searched through the Bible (International Version and King James Version). Have you been successful in finding it? I believe you said you have many notes. Would you care to share, please? *S*

Ben< Sprinkles: One example of how Jesus handled his anger comes to my mind immediately. When he was headed for the Temple, to drive out the money-changers, he was angry. And he knew it. So, instead of turning the money-changers into piles of salt or cremains, he stopped and dumped his anger on a fig tree. We don't have such power (thank God!) but we also need to learn how to dump our anger with minimal damage. When I was a kid, my mother often sent me out to "chop down that tree." It was a standing dead hickory tree, and it took me all winter to chop it down, but I dumped a lot of anger that way.

Sprinkles< Ben: Yes, I see. From my own experience, when I became angry when I was younger, I always had to do something to release the anger. It all was positive release, except that every time someone came home, the furniture was moved around. My mother would say it was restless energy. My dad would have black and blue on his shins, though. (giggle)

dead< Sprinkles: Jesus saw God's scenes of the smiting of the evil ones, and was in touch with the souls who agreed with God ... and was helped through anger, being the one for the redeeming, for the God-fearing evil ones to go to (after being smitten by God and not having another truth to go to) to start to try to love again. An inner strength for Jesus to know, to understand, and do the mercy at the time despite knowing the balance of karma and his healing part in life and love. Or so I believe Jesus expresses.

Flaming_Eagle: Ben: My husband's grandmother would curse at her dogs in German when angered (only she spoke the language). It got her frustration out without hurting any people.

Ben< Flaming_Eagle: I've seen people dump their anger on animals, but I think chopping wood or digging in the garden or doing push-ups is much better.

LadyV< Ben: Good point. I sing ... drives the neighbors crazy.

LEGS< *laughing* I sing too, LadyV, and realize I'm humming while under the dryer in the beauty shop. I look around and wonder if anyone has heard me. *G*

Ben< LadyV: If I were to sing loudly enough for them to hear, the neighbors would come calling with torches and pitch-forks.

LadyV< Ben: I am laughing so hard ... that's funny! And a good one is "When the saints are called up yonder." That's the best. I get the dogs howling on that one.

Flaming_Eagle< Ben: I fully agree with you -- there are better ways to release the energy, and each person must find what works for them in a constructive way without causing harm to others.

Yopo< Anger is a dangerous emotion, if we believe ourselves to be beings whose thoughts can manifest into physical results ...

Ben< Yopo: Yes, anger can be a dangerous energy. I remember a time when a man cursed me -- dumped his dark, destructive psychic energy on me. I walked away from him. But when I got home, I (instinctively?) dropped down on my knees, drove all ten fingers and thumbs into the lawn, and dumped that energy. I felt it go. A few days later, I noticed ten little dead spots in the lawn, each about an inch in diameter, right where I had put my fingers and thumbs. Spirituality isn't all fun and games ...

LadyV< Ben: That's powerful ...

Yopo< Ben: WHOA! That's a VERY graphic example. May my own power never exceed my understanding!

LEGS< Better the lawn, Ben, than family and friends ... *s*

Ben< Yopo: Yes, I echo your prayer: "May my power never exceed my understanding" -- to which I would add: "or my self-control at all levels of my subconscious." Sometimes I react too quickly, so I don't need or want any more psychic power than I have already.

Yopo< Ben: It might have been a good prayer for the human race in general. Perhaps printed on the first page of every science textbook ... *S*

Ben< Yopo: Yes, I agree: a good prayer for the human race. Would that more people prayed that prayer ...

dead< "May my power never exceed my understanding." Very worth hearing. Thanks.

Yopo< Folks, I am suddenly very sleepy. Think I'd best call it a night. Very good seminar tonight, Ben! Thanks! *S*

Ben< ALL: Good night. Peace and blessings to each of you. I'm probably going to be snowed in tomorrow morning. Ah, well ... *poof*

Flaming_Eagle< Goodnight Ben ... prayers for your safety.

Yopo< Ben: Maybe here too. We're to get at least 5 more inches before morning. *S* Blessings, ALL! *gone*

22. Courage
Session 4
Sat 05 Feb 2000

Ben: ALL: Last time we looked at the statement "You've got to give him credit for having the courage of his convictions" and discussed whether (or when) it is and isn't a compliment. Then I invited those present to describe an episode in their life where they were afraid but managed to do what they chose to do. The stories they shared are examples of courage.

Ben< ALL: Tonight I plan to explore some other aspects of courage, and relationships between courage and other attributes. Ready? Warm up your typing fingers ...

Ben< QUESTION 1: Courage is usually described as being or acting fearless. What do you think about that? Should we think or say that a person is courageous if he or she isn't afraid? YOUR TURN

FRAML< Ben: No, not being afraid can be merely a sign of ignorance of the dangerousness of a situation. Or it can be an act of bravado. Some people who are seemingly 'fearless' are actually doing something that they have planned out in advance, knowing the risks, and have figured out how to overcome them.

guitarist< IMO, courage is not the same as fearlessness. Courage requires the facing of fear because the obstacle and danger are known to the person; therefore the overcoming of fear to accomplish the deed is courageous. There is a saying, "Fools will go where angels fear to tread." The fool in this instance is not afraid, just stupid.

Lo< guitarist: I agree.

Ben< guitarist: Well said. Thank you.

guitarist< Ben: You're always welcome. *smile*

animalspiritwalk< Ben: Confidence brings courage.

Sprinkles< hmmm ... One can be in fear and yet have courage. One who has no fear can be foolish with courage.

LEGS< Ben: I tend to think fearlessly, but often it is a lack of knowledge that allows me to do that, so perhaps fearlessness is sometimes ignorance of the situation.

Yopo< A person not afraid might be courageous. More often, though, I think of courage as acting as one thinks one should in spite of fear. Such a person then might "act" in a fearless way.

Ben< Yopo: Yes, "Acting as one thinks one should in spite of fear" is a good description of courageous behavior.

guitarist< Yopo: That is another way of putting it. *s*

elevaphoenix< I think, if there isn't any fear to be overcome, it really isn't courage. *VBS*

Lo< To have courage involves reaching for inner resources to face something challenging in some way, as I see it. It may not really be fear, though.

guitarist< Lo: Good one! Challenge is good, whether it elicits fear or not. I might want to amend my definition above with element of *challenge* rather than *fear*.

Lo< I suppose courage involves a bit of some kind of struggle and initiative to achieve some particular objective.

Ben< I think there is often a large difference between the inner reality and the outward appearance of courage. Sometimes what passes for courage is fearless foolishness, as greyman pointed out last time with his story about the kid who got his tongue stuck on a frozen flagpole. Sometimes what seems like cowardice is a wise courage in which one looks before he or she leaps. And often: "Discretion is the better part of valor."

Sprinkles< OOOooo I like that, Ben. :)

guitarist< Amen, Ben (to discretion being the better part of valor).

FRAML< Ben: I think that discretion is also another way of "choosing when to fight your battles." Chose to fight on your own ground, not your opponent's.

selki< But fear is somewhat of a learned behavior as well. I think we fear things that we do not understand. Having the courage to face these fears and conquer them is what we must learn.

Ben< selki: Good point.

Ben< QUESTION 2: Last time, I said there are various ways to increase our inner power (courage) or reduce our inner resistance (fear, doubt, lethargy, etc). I described a "trial by fire" in which I reduced my inner resistance (fear) by figuring out what I could do (reasoning). This time, I'll post three examples (very short ones) and ask you what you think about each of them or what they remind you of.

Ben< Example 1: One way to increase courage (confidence) is to chant, like a mantra, "I think I can ... I think I can." What do you think about that? What does it remind you of? YOUR TURN

FRAML< Ben: Isn't that what the "little engine that could" said?

elevaphoenix< The Little Engine That Could.

animalspiritwalk< "I must, I must, I must increase my bust." *LOL* That's what it reminded me of. Sorry, Ben, you asked. *S* I believe self-admiration is a path you are talking about.

Sprinkles< First thought: the story of the little engine. Second thought: the ant that climbed the rubber-tree plant. I think that there are many impossibles that can be possible.

Yopo< Ben: *LOL* I'd need a different mantra. That one makes me think of "The Little Engine that Could". Might make me regress to my childhood in the face of difficulty.

Lo< Ben: That seems like trying to have some positive thinking.

guitarist< "I think I can ... I think I can." The Little Engine That Could. A children's book I liked. Sometimes, though, I thought it was Pollyanna-ish because the little engine had only one obstacle to overcome. I personally had many.

selki< guitarist: Try saying I KNOW I can. It works. *s*

guitarist< Selki: Don't worry. I am doing quite well, thank you. I thought I could, and I did. It's just that when you're really low, something like that *may* seem, well, a little trite.

LEGS< Ben: "I think I can" is a training for determination ... and can hypnotize oneself into doing dreaded or feared tasks ... though it is the little train refrain from the children's books.

Yopo< *G* I'm glad to see so many of us have a strong background in the literary classics ...

Destiny_Blues< I think they'll laugh at me in the dentist's office on Tuesday if they hear me muttering, "I think I can stand it ... I think I really CAN!"

Yopo< Destiny_Blues: In the dentist's chair, I usually focus on a little reflection within that overhead lamp until my surroundings sorta fade out ... *S*

Ben< I think this one works pretty well a lot of times. And surely, "I don't think I can" doesn't increase confidence. But it has a potential down-side: "I thought I could."

animalspiritwalk< Ben: If one continues making it habitual to repeat "I think I can ... I think I can" I personally believe it's a form of self-admiration, and building confidence, hence courage.

FRAML< Ben: I don't know if I've used that one, but I've had similar thoughts when facing a tough situation.

Sprinkles< Being self-assured does not necessarily mean one has courage.

elevaphoenix< I believe MY thoughts in an "I think I can" situation are more like "Well, YES!!!" *VBS*

Ornah< It's all about becoming more aware of whole self. Whichever way you choose to open up yourself consciously is YOUR reality.

Destiny_Blues< As in ... nothing ventured, nothing gained?

Suelee< Ben: Hello. *S* You mentioned a chant or a mantra ... I guess my vision of courage is one who challenges his or her focus of attention to the chant or mantra that inspires them beyond just mere words repeated. This is hard to do and requires practice on a daily basis. Our mind and senses get so easily distracted that to continue to maintain that focus on our prayers is in itself something that displays courage.

Ben< Suelee: Yes. I mentioned last time that one type of courage is in the ability to maintain attitude or purpose so as to steadfastly continue a course.

WaveWarrior< Try, and you will fail. Do, and you will win.

Ben< Example 2: An ancient way to drum up courage is by listening to martial music or war drums. What do you think about that? What does it remind you of? YOUR TURN

Sprinkles< It reminds me of energy building to a height for release.

elevaphoenix< Probably more effective on males ...

guitarist< elevaphoenix: I agree with you there, about it affecting men more. I did love parades as a child, though.

LEGS< I am more apt to use music to calm down: waltz tunes and non-lyric soft jazz ... and I clean house to Sousa ... *s* attack time ...

FRAML< Just put on the theme from Patton for me -- or Garry Owen.

Lo< Such music can help raise people's spirits and sense of loyalty sometimes. I can think of parades that do that sort of thing with their marching soldiers and their bands.

Sprinkles< Also, just the thought of war drums makes my adrenaline start to prepare to do battle.

Yopo< Drums and bagpipes and the smell of gunpowder ... Hmm ... Martial music is something for the mind to focus on, too. I think it is to turn off our thoughts and put us in a modality where the body is driven to action ...

guitarist< Ben: I get a mixed message from this one. War drums are from Native Americans. Martial music reminds me of Wagner, Sousa, the United States Marines! (Wagner inspired the Nazis we spoke of last time.)

Destiny_Blues< Drums drumming remind me of a heart beating loud and fast.

Yopo< I think the drums anesthetize us to our fears, more than building a thoughtful courage.

guitarist< Yopo: Again I agree with you, that drums demand action, not thought.

FRAML< guitarist & Yopo: However the "action demanded" from drums is one based upon prior thought and practice. One kicks into a mode of operating as one has been trained. The old Army thing of when someone says "DUCK" you hit the ground, instead of looking to the sky and saying "Where is it?"

guitarist< FRAML: Drums play the same for both sides of a conflict (if the ones beating them have the same sense of rhythm). That is more of what I was getting at earlier. As Yopo said, one can be tempted to be drawn into a conflict based on the music alone. It is the thought about what is really taking place that stops us. If darkness is at the heart, we must take heed ...

animalspiritwalk< Ben: The 2nd example reminds me of the incident I was in a couple of weeks ago facing 3 guys in attack. I heard the drums and the chants first, before anything even occurred. This was a spiritual experience, looking back on it. And this in turn leads to a question/statement for you. Without faith of our spiritual beliefs, how can anyone have true courage? If we try to summon up courage without focus of our higher power, are we not walking away from spiritual guidance and strength?

Ben< animalspiritwalk: Yes, if we drum up courage without focusing on our higher power, we may be walking without spiritual guidance and strength. Nevertheless, we can drum up courage that way, even if it is unguided courage.

animalspiritwalk< Ben: Also I believe there is a difference in the 2nd example you have shared. One lead to me believe in myself to accomplish something, perhaps a task, or other responsibilities vs procrastination. The 2nd example makes me believe that you are speaking of a different kind of courage, one used in battle, and confrontation. Is there a difference in the 2nd example?

[Ben< animalspiritwalk: Yes, each example points to a different kind of courage.]

animalspiritwalk< Ben: Please remember my previous statement/question and your response, for I have a debate with you on that response, and I would enjoy discussing this later if you like. *S*

WaveWarrior< Courage is the practice of absolute faith.

Lo< Ben: Such music can serve to distract us from our fears, etc., thus spurring us to join the action sometimes.

Yopo< There is also a tendency for martial music and drums to unify and synchronize. They create a sense of order in a chaotic environment. Men become fighting mechanisms.

Sprinkles< I think the female as well as the male could both have as equal an effect from the drums or music.

Ben< It seems to me that martial music and war drums and such by-pass the conscious (rational) mind and work directly in the subconscious. They stimulate visceral reactions, especially in those who are conditioned to react to them. They may also stimulate similar karmic responses from previous conditioning.

greyman< Oooooga Chuga Oooooga Chuga. Primitive bass chant.

Yopo< Ben: Yeah. A definite by-pass. The Nazi torch-light parades. They stir on a visceral level. One WANTS to be a part of the energy, and must remind oneself of the darkness that is there ...

greyman< Low frequencies.

dbar< Hey, greyman, be careful or you might get hooked on a feeling. hehe

LEGS< *listening* Not sure if I agree with anyone or not. Are we saying that the drums and martial music remove free will?

Ben< LEGS: Martial music can have a hypnotic effect in which one enters an altered state of consciousness where free will is set aside.

elevaphoenix< War drums probably affect the reptilian brain, that most primitive little bundle, way down in there ...

selki< I think it is the vibrations of the drums and music that the subconscious absorbs, and visceral reactions follow.

Sprinkles< To think before I speak, or act, or react. It is not always easy. Emotions can come into play.

swami< Ben: Karmic responses to music? Are you saying certain music may bring forth set responses from "past lives" or from other circumstances in this life?

Ben< swami: Yes, music can evoke karmic memories from past lives, and the responses that were conditioned in those lives.

WaveWarrior< Martial music conjures images of the legions from before who moved to battle and sacrifice for your existence and freedom to the same calling. It is saying it is your turn to protect. Act.

Ben< Example 3: One way to reduce fear is through denial of consequences: "Nothing bad will happen to me" or "I've got nothing to lose." What do you think about that? What does it remind you of? YOUR TURN

Lo< It seems like a way to ignore danger ...

Sprinkles< It reminds me of being human. How not to take life for granted.

guitarist< Denial of consequences is the perfect way to get a young boy or girl in trouble! My stepson must have said that a number of times on nights when we had to go to the police station to get him. Fortunately those days are gone forever, and he has overcome them.

greyman< The only one thing wrong with denial of consequences is the reality of occurrence.

FRAML< Ben: The first is from one who usually is unwilling to believe that they can either be harmed, or that there are those (incarnate & discarnate) who would wish to harm them. The second is, in my experience, said by those who have decided or been taught that they are "losers" or have no worth or reason to live.

delaLUNE< I think that denying consequences is more cowardice than a way to inspire courage. If you convince yourself that the world is a place in which nothing can go wrong, you're in denial and cannot face reality, which is the true stem of courage.

animalspiritwalk< Ben: Denial is not the name of the river in Egypt. *S* Thru the use of your example, you are actually focusing on one result. Should it not occur the way you expect it, then you are setting yourself up for defeat in more ways than one. You may experience guilt, shame, remorse, and resentment. Perhaps even place blame on someone else for your failure, instead of owning it and learning from it. Denial is only lying to yourself, and is a self-defeating behavior.

dbar< The "Nothing bad can happen" mantra can be effective in getting one off of his or her butt and create some kind of action. Be it good or bad. Being paralyzed into inactivity can be deadly.

FRAML< dbar: I think that "Nothing bad can happen" will lead you to being a very surprised ghost when you suddenly find out that you are dead.

elevaphoenix< I think the only time it is worthwhile to deny consequences is when those consequences are being put there by your InnerChild or InnerCritic ... and are therefore spurious.

animalspiritwalk< I think example #3 is definitely walking away from spiritual guidance and strength. We (if following #3) are trying to control the outcome of actions we have no real control over, hence becoming our own higher power. If we do such a thing, then why is it necessary to have spirituality to complete us and make us whole?

Yopo< "Nothing bad will happen to me" and "I've got nothing to lose" may both be valid in certain contexts. The first, though, might be a way of overlooking the consequences one's actions may have on others. The second seems most applicable in desperate situations. I think valid applications of such thinking are probably rare.

LEGS< Denial of consequences may be the very reason some of us are even here ... since we were born before the days of the pill. *s* Actually, love is one of the motivations that alters reality for sure ...

swami< Fear is what we manifest the illusion of, when we see anything as "not God". IMO When we come to a place where we believe in the Allness of God -- God being All -- and wish to put this into practice, courage is the means by which we overcome fear -- seeing something as "not God" -- and do what we perceive to be right in accordance with what we believe; i.e., seeing it All as God being God as God. Once we are in obedience to this belief -- seeing God in and as All -- fear has no place and courage is no longer a prerequisite. IMO

Ben< I think that denial of consequences can reduce fear and lead to action, but it is real good way to get yourself killed. Which leads me to my next (and last) question for tonight ...

Ben< QUESTION 3: Some people seem to have more courage than others. But there are different kinds of courage. For example: In World War II, when Audie Murphy went overseas, he had a lot of friends in his unit. Little by little, as his friends were killed or wounded and taken away to recover, he made fewer and fewer friends among those who replaced them. Toward the end of his combat tour, he was basically a loner with no friends at all. He is honored for his courage, the most highly decorated soldier of WW II, but it seems to me that he had a lot of one kind of courage and was lacking in another kind of courage. What do you think? If you agree with my assessment, what kind of courage did Audie Murphy have a lot of, and what kind of courage was he lacking? YOUR TURN

Yopo< He had a lot of courage in the face of personal danger. But maybe he was lacking in whatever it takes to love in the face of possible loss? (We many of us lack that, to one degree or another. We hope to avoid pain by avoiding attachment.)

FRAML< He didn't have the courage to make friends with men he knew had a good chance of dying. He couldn't face losing friends. Yet he could face the enemy, and it was also a way to keep his friends alive. I've watched his movie many times. I've heard his comment "You're stuck with the friends you came with" from many guys over the years in the army. It is a way of insulating yourself from the repeated shock of death.

Sprinkles< I think the courage he had, to continue to move forward and alone, was one way. The other, where he might have lacked the courage, was to become close again to another. To want to share closeness with another out of fear. To free himself of suffering from those he became close to.

animalspiritwalk< Ben: In response to your question #3, I believe he had GREAT combative courage, but lacked courage in being vulnerable (which in itself takes courage also) to make friends, for fear of losing them, perhaps fear of loss.

guitarist< Ben: I don't know enough about Audie Murphy to make a judgment. However, his inability to make new friends after losing his old ones displays fear of abandonment (for whatever reason). How he managed to keep up his combative courage after losing all his friends, I do not know. // animalspiritwalk: Thank you; your words helped me respond.

animalspiritwalk< guitarist: You're welcome, though it wasn't so much an opinion but similar experience for me *S*

elevaphoenix< I think Audie Murphy had a lot of 1st and 3rd chakra courage, but little 2nd and 4th.

LEGS< Audie Murphy may have lacked the courage to try again with close relationships. Sometimes putting your body in danger is easy compared to putting your heart in danger ... and losing loved ones, whether family or friends, takes a dire toll on one's psyche.

Lo< I sense LEGS put her finger on it, so to speak: putting his heart in danger by being stressed was like an added burden to him that he just did not need to have to face if he did not try to make a lot of new friends.

Yopo< I read somewhere that the same was true of veteran WWI flyers. Toward the end of the war, the average life expectancy of a novice pilot was approximately 3 weeks. The old survivors became detached, and avoided making friends of the new arrivals ...

WaveWarrior< Can recklessness with luck be confused with courage? Perhaps the replacements saw Audie as reckless and fame seeking? Also, Audie may have represented an impossible standard for others to match.

FRAML< WaveWarrior: I don't think so. Murphy didn't seek fame. He had a strong sense of duty. Some of his actions may have seemed reckless, but were necessary and came from his training and experience.

WaveWarrior< I do not believe Audie chose to be brave. Audie just did what he thought needed to be done. His actions were interpreted by others as "bravery".

Destiny_Blues< Murphy had the courage of a good soldier, but didn't fair as well when it came to losing people he came to care about. So to protect himself from that kind of pain, he stopped caring about new people who came into his life.

selki< When a person knows that they are going into a situation where they know there is a chance that they will go home in a box (WAR), wouldn't you think that this person would be doing everything that he can to assure he keeps his life? I mean, like wearing his helmet, keeping his rifle cleaned, knowing the battle strategy, looking out for his buddies as he hopes they look out for him.

Yopo< selki: Yeah, but too much death burns out a circuit in the brain (or at least numbs it). That, too, may be some sort of old survival thing.

selki< Seems to me that we don't know what fear is until we are told to fear something.

FRAML< Ben: I used to wonder how I'd react to getting new guys in if the cold war got hot over in Germany. I honestly suspect I may have adopted the same course as Murphy. However, as you know, I never let myself have any "real" friends until just a few years ago.

blueknight< It all depends in how you look at it when you are in combat. Most of the time you are looking out for # 1 and trying to help your friends comes as second place. And when they do cash in, your feelings are very mixed up, so you don't know whether to feel happy that you are still alive or the sorrow for losing them.

Destiny_Blues< blueknight: Yes, I can tell by your comment that you've been a soldier. What you said gave me some insight into what it was like for you. And you survived it all!

blueknight< Destiny_Blues: This is one that has been there, sorry to say.

Lo< I suspect he just did not want to get hurt again, as he was by so many lost friends, finding it safer to concentrate on the battles and not focus on making new friends he might lose, too.

blueknight< Lo: Thank you very much --

guitarist< Ben: I just recalled, I do have a sense of how Murphy kept his courage. He most likely was doing it in the names of his friends, much as I did what I had to for my brother when he was killed (see last seminar).

Sprinkles< Having faith in another as well as faith in oneself.

Ben< ALL: Good comments in response to Question 3. I'll post a couple of definitions that may also help.

Ben< COMMENT: The word *brave* is from Italian *bravo* meaning "bold" (originally "wild, savage" from Latin *barbarus*) -- willing to face danger, pain, or trouble; not afraid; having courage. Thus, *brave* implies fearlessness in meeting danger or difficulty.

Ben< COMMENT: Webster's Synonyms: "audacious" suggests an imprudent or reckless boldness; "valiant" emphasizes a heroic quality in the courage or fortitude shown; "intrepid" implies absolute fearlessness and especially suggests dauntlessness in facing the new or unknown; "plucky" emphasizes gameness in fighting against something when one is at a decided disadvantage.

Ben< I think Audie Murphy was very brave, audacious on occasion, valiant as a warrior, intrepid in facing unknown and dangerous situations, plucky in personal combat against superior forces. But I think he was lacking in a kind of courage that isn't even mentioned among the usual synonyms of that word.

LEGS< Funny, but Audie suggests audacious to me ... reckless if you thought about it ahead of action... but reacting valiantly is what he was successful doing ... and was decorated for ...

Ben< ALL: I believe it takes very special kind of courage to actually care about a person, or an animal, or any living thing, because if you really care, whatever hurts them hurts you. Their pain becomes your pain, and their suffering your suffering. Indifference to others requires no courage; it's a way to avoid vicarious pain, and so are the rationalizations that produce indifference: "He brought it on himself. It's her karma. It's the will of God. They're just learning lessons. He's just creating his own reality (shrug)." I believe those who actually care about others, especially over long periods of time, justly meet the definition of courageous.

Ben< COMMENT: The word *courage* is from Old French *corage* meaning "heart, spirit" (from Latin *cor* meaning "heart"). Thus, courageous suggests constant readiness to deal with things fearlessly by reason of a stout-hearted temperament or a resolute spirit.

FRAML< Ben: Yes, because caring, as you have defined it, means that you are "one" with them. I avoided that type of caring for most of my life. In fact, I didn't even know how to accept anyone caring for me ... always figured they were just trying to get something from me, by "pretending" to "care about me".

Suelee< IMO courage comes when one gives LOVE and expect nothing in return ... knowing that LOVE carries joy as well as pain ...

swami< Caring = compassion = love = en courage ment = the gift of courage.

Ben< swami: Nice equation.

Yopo< Ben: *S* Love requires courage. Fair-weather friends are not the ones who truly love ...

Ben< ALL: Now I would like to post one paragraph to conclude this seminar.

Ben< ALL: I have heard this: A key is designed to open something -- something closed and locked. The closed mind. The closed heart. The key is courage. Dare to care. Dare to experience both joy and sorrow. Then eyes to see beauty -- and ugliness. Ears to hear good news -- and bad. Those who want pleasure without pain, joy without sorrow, are slaves to their own reactions. Those who care about less and less are dying. Those who do not care at all are dead. So dare to care. Dare to live. This is a truth that sets us free -- free to live more fully. The key is inside. The key is courage.

Ben< Done.

Yopo< Ah. A summary well worth printing out.

Sprinkles< Ben: Some people tend to imprison themselves, and they don't realize that they are the one who holds the key. And when they do, at times they fear using it to open the door to the world.

WaveWarrior< Ben: The key may be courage but the material of the key is FAITH.

LEGS< Thank you, Ben, for the comment summarizing courage and daring to care. I've recently been 'dumped' by one I thought of as a good friend because I didn't do what was expected of me ... even though I was unaware of the expectation. Come to think of it, the being unaware may have been part of the problem. I do not ordinarily limit my friendships to one or two, and am too old to start that now ... and btw, thank you for doing all these seminars, my friend.

elevaphoenix< Thank you, Ben. I am sure that each of us is here tonight for a special reason, and that we each needed to hear what this lesson was about. NAMASTE! *VBS*

Pal< It looks like courage, bravery and denial are subjects for discussion. My take on denial is called rationalization so that you do not own up to the facts. Courage is something I think all of us do daily by going out and seeking the daily adventure never knowing how the day is going to take you. Bravery is taking on a job or situation without thought.

Sprinkles< Ben: Thank you again for a good seminar, and the food for thought ... What's for dessert? *S*

Ben< Sprinkles: I offered the post that began "I have heard this" with the thought that it might be something like dessert ...

guitarist< Ben and Sprinkles: I know, it's one of the things Ben's as-angels said to him. If I recall correctly, it's on the 2-way prayer page.

Ben< guitarist: Yes, and it is also in "A Small Explanation" and at the end of "It's a Secret". I've heard that theme often, usually when I didn't expect it, for many years.

guitarist< Ben: I *was* referring to "A Small Explanation" -- I had forgotten its name. I like Rei's amplification of it as well (one of your resources).

Sprinkles< Ben and guitarist: Mmmmm, sounds like a good snack. *S*

Pal< I believe we do hold the key to all of these questions, and are the only ones that can solve the problems of fear, denial, courage. I feel that we are given this power to help ourselves. It just has to be how you tackle it or look at it within yourself.

animalspiritwalk< Ben: Is it open discussion now? I have something I would like to share in relation to your choice of topic.

Ben< /topic Discussion of courage and related topics

guitarist< Daring to care is important -- even though doing so may expose one to bad elements. However, I think we should think about what we give our caring to (better people than things; better to have mutual caring than one-sided, for instance). That may be why so many get trapped in bad relationships and lifestyles.

LEGS< Good thinking there, guitarist ... we usually have choices, if we take time to make them ...

Yopo< guitarist: Sometimes we care about our illusions. We love what we project on a person, rather than what the person really is. The same is true of many things in the world. We often love our illusions.

LEGS< Oh, Yopo, well said on loving our illusions ...

Yopo< LEGS: *LOL* Although it is also good to remember that we sometimes have to get off our posteriors and go out looking for them.

guitarist< Yopo: We do love our illusions, indeed. I think it's why there were so many unhappy marriages in our parents' time and before, and why there are so many divorces now.

Destiny_Blues< Yopo: That is so true ... love IS BLIND!

FreeLove< I tend to disagree with love being blind. It is infatuation, expectation, hope that creates a false perception of a relationship or another person. Love is open for all, and is not blind, but is patient and sees all. :O))

Destiny_Blues< Yes, FreeLove, you're right -- it is infatuation that is blind. It's sometimes difficult to know what is going on when in the middle of it, and it can only be seen clearly afterward ... from a safe distance.

Yopo< To be perfectly honest, I think that much of what I think is true may only be illusion I have grown comfortable with. Courage is maybe an issue here, too. Having the courage to see things as they are. *S*

Pal< Ben is right -- you must take the chance in order to grow in every direction.

Suelee< I find it most helpful to get guidance from elders or from books to see more clearly what goes on within ourself ... and how best to make our choices ... because within ourself lies many, many chaos, and we often lose our direction. So I guess that's why we have priests and elders of knowing ... *S* to help us find our way back within ourself with more clarity. *S*

Yopo< Suelee: Very true. Some have seen their way through the same illusions that still bind most of us, and speak clearly of such things. The problem is always that one must see for oneself, before their words make sense.

Suelee< Yopo: Yes. *S* One must be ready to see with eyes open and a heart that yearns to know, before any guidance or books can reach the ears and sink deep within the soul. *S*

Pal< One of the hardest things I feel in this life is the quick pace. To me it is hard to function some days when I feel hurried and do not have time to slow down, and sometimes the impromptu decisions are not the wisest, but I learn from them. At this moment, my children, without realizing it, are voicing their opinions about the subjects at hand.

guitarist< Ben: I think one of the reasons why I was in so much negativity was because I *cared* very much about others' approval. I didn't get it; instead I got *loads* of criticism, almost to the point where I couldn't take a step without looking to someone (mostly mom) to see if I was going in the right direction! This kind of caring (though I was a child then) was selfish, and thus not the kind we're talking about. But it's an example of what can get a caring person into trouble.

Ben< guitarist: Ah, yes, now you're pointing to the next key issue: who or what we care about. To care about others is one thing; to care about others' approval is another.

Yopo< Yeah. Seeking approval is placing control in someone else's hands. I still do that at times. At almost 50, still there's the little boy seeking the parent's approval and validation. That is there, even though my own parents are gradually becoming like MY children. Where now to seek validation? God's approval, perhaps? *S* ... Surely a conceit in seeking only to be "valid" in one's own eyes.

YO< Well, the only courage I know is the courage to admit your fault, and the courage to speak the truth when tempted to speak a lie. That is courage to me. Jumping into an inferno house is for the guys in Hollywood!

Stands_Alone< animalspiritwalk: Didn't you have something you wanted to say?

animalspiritwalk< Ben: As you may remember, I have been in recovery for alcoholism, and drug addiction, for a little over 6 years. A miracle I never thought possible. Looking on these last 6 years, I realize I have a lot of courage of my own. As well as fears. When I first sobered up, all of my consequences from my using wasn't my fault it was someone else's: "no one understood" hahaha what a joke! Believing my denial kept me away from sobering up before I did. Do I still think about using? Yes, I do, sometimes. Although I haven't. I also have a .357 round I will swallow before I swallow another drop -- that is fueled by my fear of letting myself down in the eyes of other people. It has been a long journey, one that will not end soon, I have learned to be happy, I have learned to be humble, and to remain that way really takes a lot of courage for me instead of slipping back into my old behaviors. My courage is strengthened by my spiritual beliefs; without them, I would be using all over again, I wouldn't remain humble, and I would have false pride replacing true pride that I now have. So when you said we can still drum up our own courage, I personally disagree with you on that. For me to try to take my power back would mean I would swallow that damn bullet, which I do not want to do. This doesn't mean however, that I don't speak up for myself, but I am aware of my decisions or choices I make, and pray that my higher power has the same intentions in mind for me. If not, I have an open mind to learn whatever lesson there is to learn, even though sometimes I may whine about it. *S* And as for love, I will share that next post.

Yopo< animalspiritwalk: *S* I would suggest another act of courage. Throw away the gun someday, and keep the round as a reminder of another successful step along the way ... Blessings on you!

LEGS< animalspiritwalk: I admire your courage in taking your steps towards today, and pray that you will sustain your path without resorting to your personal threat ... and will see that the threat is also only a step in your maturity at gaining release from former habits ... and it won't be necessary in your mind when your mind is fully in control.

animalspiritwalk< ((Stands_Alone)) & ((Yopo)) & ((LEGS)): I no longer have the gun, but I do keep the rounds as a reminder.

guitarist< animalspiritwalk: I agree with Yopo and LEGS. I know it's difficult; we all stand with you. Friend is a word I do not use lightly; yet I am making many here -- including you, I hope. I hope you will keep coming around. We need your unique voice.

selki< animalspiritwalk: You are loved. I too saved myself from an addiction several years ago. There were times that I didn't even want to start the day, because I couldn't get through it without using a drug. I did it on my own, and Prayed a lot. I feel the same as you do if I would ever do it again.

animalspiritwalk< ((guitarist)) & ((selki)): Thank you.

Ben< animalspiritwalk: I don't see anything for me to debate in your words. In my examples, I was pointing out that we *can* drum up our own courage, and we *can* deny the consequences, but I was not saying what anyone *should* or *shouldn't* do. In your case, from what you have said about where you were and where you are, it seems obvious to me that you are on good track. So, I would say that your best use of courage is to steadfastly maintain your course.

Pal< animalspiritwalk: Congratulations! I myself came to the realization about 10 years ago there is no substitute for truth and being honest with oneself. Sometimes it is really hard, and the truth, as they say, hurts, but it is also the best way to grow by facing your demons -- no matter what they are, it helps just to go for it.

animalspiritwalk< Now about love ... That scares the living shit out of me! How can I learn to love with my understanding of love so marred by past experiences? And yet, I do feel something I am afraid to call love, towards another human, but it is there. I can say this: I have love towards animals and nature, for they have never hurt me "out of love". When I was growing up, my father, who "loved" my mother and me, chose his career in the army over a family. But what I do remember of his idea of love is: "Sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, and when and only when spoken to will you speak." Or when he was going to punish me for a "wrong doing" he would walk towards me with a Sam Browne leather belt, a piece of his uniform (which he installed the fear of death into me with), loop it up, smile, yes, the bastard would smile, and snap it loud so I can feel panic, and be dominated. He would tell me "men don't cry" before I would get my punishment. He would strip me down to my bare ass and say, "I will stop when you stop crying" and start hitting me on my ass with that fucking belt until I stopped crying. That would be long after the first drops of blood were spilled. I came to love that pain. He would, in the middle of punishment or after, show me the results of torn flesh in the mirror and say "I only do this because I love you, and I am teaching you to become a man." You know what, THATS A PRETTY FUCKING TALL ORDER FOR A 3-4 YEAR OLD KID! I was afraid to love children until I sobered up. I do still have some fear that I may be like him, but I am not anything like him. My other example of "love" is watching my mother go out to the bar, while I am in the back seat of the car with my pillow and blanket, watching the adults come out and kiss and do whatever. Then watch my mom bring a guy home, or make out in the car. Where in the hell was the love? So you say, to be courageous, one must love. Guess what, I am 30 years old and my idea of love revolves around abandonment, neglect, and rejection. I am trying to break that thought process. So when I hear a compliment, or someone says "I love you" I numb out, or even start to cry, because I do not know what love is for or from another human being. The only human that I ever felt love from was my grandmother and grandfather. Grandmother has died (1 year ago). I am afraid to get close to my grandfather, but we are, because I don't want to lose him. I do not want to be fucking alone! So how can love manifest itself in the definition of courage? I don't believe it, but I will say, to be vulnerable (at least for me), is the closest thing to "love is being courageous." Thanks, and sorry about the long post and the language. I truly apologize.

Yopo< animalspiritwalk: No need to apologize. In that post, I see GREAT clarity. You clearly see the territory you have passed through, with the eyes of someone well on their way to leaving it. I think there is NO danger of you ever being your father. I think you are already something far beyond that. It is only very sad that there has been so much pain in your journey ...

LEGS< animalspiritwalk: We are each worthy of being loved ... though it surely sounds as though you had one of the childhoods with the least sort of love in your home. We need to be aware that being unique means we each have our own story ... some may very well be worse than yours, and others may only seem worse to the one who is living it ... but there is always the opportunity for things to get better ... for love to become a nourishing factor in your life. You have to allow love in your life now, and one way is by realizing that your treatment and non-treatment by your parents was NOT your fault, and not because you weren't lovable, but because they couldn't cope with being parents.

guitarist< {{{{{Animalspiritwalk}}}}} Don't worry about the language. Ben will clean it up for posting on his site if he sees fit to do so. What's important now is that you begin to move toward people (and spirits) who *show* you that they truly care for you. The flip side about caring for others is that you deserve to be treated with caring also.

animalspiritwalk< ((Yopo)): Thank you. // ((LEGS)): Very true, I know there are some (actually, many) that have had it worse than me, or are going thru it now, worse than I am. // ((guitarist)): Actually, I tend to care more about others than looking for care from them.

FreeLove< animalspiritwalk: (((*)))

Star12< Excuse me ... I mean no disrespect, but saying to one who has suffered so much "There are others worse off than you" does no good. My story will not be told here ... but it did me no good. And practical me asks: have you ever had real 3D help from a counselor? What a horrible way to treat a child. Remember, this is NOT your karma ... you did nothing to deserve such parents. ((hug))

animalspiritwalk< ((Star12)): Yes, I have and still continue to see a counselor, actually two -- two heads are better than one. *S* They have never seen anyone shut down as fast as I do when we talk about love or childhood. We continue to try, though.

Destiny_Blues< animalspiritwalk: It will take much healing to recover from the damage others have inflicted on you. The question is: would you like to be a victim and continue reliving the nightmare over and over, or will you choose to have the courage to seek help from people who extend a hand to help you?

Star12< As one who saw counselors for years ... keep trying, animalspiritwalk. Eventually they will help. Here we are cyber ghosts and can only remind you that you ARE worthy of being loved. Give it perhaps to some old lady in a nursing home who is lonely, and you will begin to see a response. Baby steps. baby steps ... begin there.

Sprinkles< animalspiritwalk: Let not the negativity of your past be a boulder that blocks you. You are you ... a very, very special you. There are none like you, there will be none like you. You are one of God's children. So was Christ. Reach out and continue to reach. Love who you are, not your environment, not your peers, but you. You are an individual, and you alone have the gift of choice. No one has the power over you. If you doubt yourself, don't look in the mirror, look in your heart. (((hugs)).

animalspiritwalk< ((Destiny_Blues)): I have grown tired of being the victim. I am trying to learn how to live all over again, and sometimes it's fantastic, and others down-right scary. *S* ((Star12)) Ahhh, yes, baby steps. I am still learning how to crawl. *S* ((Sprinkles)) And that is exactly what scares me, to look at myself, or in my heart, but I do take a peek on occasion. *S*

Ben< animalspiritwalk. Two thoughts about your post on (distortions of) love. First, concerning your folks, there's an old saying: "No one is totally useless -- even the worst of us can serve as a bad example." And second: The word "love" wasn't in my summary. To care about a person or an animal simply means, in the vernacular, to give a shit about what happens to them. Even though you have been wounded by distortions of love, you can and do apply my vernacular description of caring. *smile*

animalspiritwalk< ((Ben)): Thank you for the clarification. Don't know why I exploded ... sorry. *weak smile*

Yopo< animalspiritwalk: Oh, it was quite a good explosion. And a good place to explode. *LOL* Ya know, I think sometimes we learn from our own posts as much as from reading others'. It is good sometimes to see what we're thinking in print, and in a context like this. One reason I profit from Ben's seminars. He draws us out of ourselves sometimes ...

Suelee< animalspiritwalk: Hello! *S* It takes great courage to tell of one's life and the pain of not knowing what Love is about ... but you see, your courage acted out for us to hear ... why? I think you sense that you are loved and can express yourself and still receive words of caring and understanding ... it's a start. *S*

Star12< He was a victim ... but I doubt if he likes it. He has had the courage to tell his story here ... and IMHO that was a good step toward healing.

Destiny_Blues< animalspiritwalk: It takes another kind of courage to "spill your guts" about something so personal to all of us here. I applaud your courage and desire to make a change for the remainder of your life.

guitarist< ((((animalspiritwalk)))) Your tendency to care for others more than seeking care for yourself is good, but as you are healing, you may want to learn to receive as well as give. Others need the chance to bless you too, dear heart! The thing is not to open your heart too quickly, but to observe, and then, as you get to know people, you will see whether they are true in their words and intentions. Your true friends will be more and more evident over time.

Ben< animalspiritwalk: No problem. I'm glad you wrote what you did. Excellent illustration of distortions of love, and what they do people, especially children. Takes courage *and* spiritual help to work out of that -- and the need for faith (spiritual orientation and assistance) was your original point that led you to write what you did.

animalspiritwalk< Thanks everyone ... need to go blow my nose. *LOL*

Star12< The important thing, animalspiritwalk, is you ARE learning. My heart and my respect goes out to you.

Destiny_Blues< We all have our demons to overcome in this lifetime ... and everybody gets out alive!

guitarist< And by the way, animalspiritwalk, I think I speak for all of us when I say that we are honored by your openness. I agree with the other postings that it isn't easy sharing the kind of things you've shared with us tonight.

YO< The chat makes it easy for people to open up.

Suelee< YO: *S* I agree that the chatroom makes it easier for people to open up. It cuts down on physical judgments. *S* Now the other half still needs work, though. *g*

YO< Yeah, Suelee, in the beginning I had to open up, too. And it really did help.

Yopo< Ben: Uh, any idea yet where your seminar is next headed? This was the last on this particular topic, was it not?

Ben< Yopo: Yes, this was the last session of this series. I'm not sure where I'll point the seminar next. Haven't really started thinking about it yet.

Yopo< Ben *S* Ah, we all like surprises ...

Ben: Yopo: Speaking of surprises, I've received a few pm's saying, in more-or-less these words, "I almost never know what you're going to come up with next in one of these sessions." (The most recent was from someone who was surprised at the two cave-lady scenarios.)

LEGS: *s* (((((Ben))))

Yopo< Ben: HA! Cave-ladies wearing tu-tus mighta surprised me a bit, but I figured you had standard cave-ladies waiting in the wings that evening. *ahem*

Sprinkles< Ben: Dang... I missed that one. :(

Ben< Sprinkles: The cave-lady scenarios were last week. The transcript is posted.

Sprinkles< Ben: I was there! Silly me, I thought I read C-O-W lady. *LOL* I know the cave Lady. Ha, ha, ha, I don't believe this! My face is gonna hurt tomorrow. LMHO

guitarist< ***Sprinkles*** Light surround your face and warmth touch it and relax the muscles, relieving pain. It shouldn't hurt so much to laugh, darling...

Sprinkles< guitarist: Oh, it's okay. It may hurt my muscles, but it puts such a warmth in my heart. *S* (thank you)

Suelee< Good night to All in Amazon *S* and thank you BEN for taking the time for us to express as well as learn in your seminar ... poofs

animalspiritwalk< awwwwww man, my eyes are puffy and my nose is red. *LOL*

FreeLove< animalspiritwalk; Would you like some Kleenex?

Sprinkles< Aaaah, animalspiritwalk, you looked in the mirror. It wasn't as bad as you thought. The red nose gave me a giggle. *S*

animalspiritwalk< ((FreeLove)): Naw, I will use my sleeve. *wipes nose on arm* damn!!!! short sleeves! *LOL* ((Sprinkles)) Yeah, but only quickly. *S*

FreeLove< animalspiritwalk: ewwwww! You left a trail!!!!!!!! *ack*

guitarist< (as all of us reach out to animalspiritwalk with tissues in our hands.)

Sprinkles< animalspiritwalk: I would visualize you having just overflowed your banks and ready for a fresh flow of life. *S*

animalspiritwalk< ((Sprinkles)): Yes, very true indeed. And also I can use another Mountain Dew or cup of coffee after that. *S*

Sprinkles< animalspiritwalk: Good for you! Happy Birthday! I figured I would have cake while joining you in your coffee or Dew ... Oh, I like that (Dew) it's real close to Sprinkles. *VBS*

animalspiritwalk< My nose is still leaking! *grabs FreeLove's arm* Need to wipe it somewhere. *LOL*

FreeLove< animalspiritwalk: Go ahead, I have long sleeves on, and can wash the garment. Just , please, don't BLOW! :O))

guitarist< Ah, animalspiritwalk, I'm glad we got you smiling, even laughing!

animalspiritwalk< *Blows nose*

guitarist< animalspiritwalk: Are you feeling better now?

animalspiritwalk< ((guitarist)): Yes, indeed. *S* I believe some of it may be my own defenses, and the most of it is because I need it. *S*

sirbadgerbat< Thy need is in accordance with the divine will. *S*

FreeLove< animalspiritwalk: *scrunching nose* awwwwww, geee whillickers!!! Gross! Brains upon me sleeve! Whatever shall I do? *knocks on his head* Is there anything left in there? *LOL*

Sprinkles< FreeLove: (love the nic) Now that is really wearing your heart on your sleeve. LOL *S*

FreeLove< Sprinkles: *VBS* Thanks, and yes, I do wear me heart upon me sleeve. Don't think it goes well with the brains, though! *LOL*

sirbadgerbat< Thy sleeve doeth thy well indeed, freelovely.

FreeLove< sirbadgerbat: *curtsey* and I thanketh thee. Love to you! (((*)))

Sprinkles< FreeLove: If your wore your brain on your sleeve, then maybe we could pick it! Ugggh ... did I type that? LOL *S*

FreeLove< Sprinkles: *LOL* Actually, it was animalspiritwalk's brain on my sleeve from his blowing his nose! *LOL* If you wish to pick me brain, then go. Must warn you, though, I do not go from me brains, I go from me gut. :O))

Sprinkles< FreeLove: Aaah, thanks, but I think the only picking I will be doing is the sparkles in my Sprinkles. LOL

FreeLove< Sprinkels: *LOL* M'Kay. I'm outa' here. Love to you all!!!!

animalspiritwalk< ((FreeLove)): Goodnight, and thank you for your support. *S*

sirbadgerbat< *handing sir animalspirit a hanky* Remember, thy hanky be truly panky.

animalspiritwalk< *LMAO*

LEGS< *smiling @ sirbadgerbat's pun*

SilverFox< The hounds are a-searching for de Fox... trot, trot... horses heaving ... HELP! SIRBADGERBAT!

sirbadgerbat< silver vulcan ... sir ringer, simply ring true, let not the anger or onslaught of the lesser demons bother thee.

SilverFox< Long, long ago in a Forest far, far away stood the Mighty Badgerbat awaiting the funk to present thyself that it may be purged by the Sword of BadgertheBattiest.

sirbadgerbat< The countanence of the demon cowards bears no resemblence to the divine. Let forth the hounds from thy own mind. Take the hunt to the hunter and hunt the damned.

animalspiritwalk: ((sirbadgerbat)): And what demons shall we fight this eve? *sword at the ready*

sirbadgerbat< sir wolfenspirit: the hydra doth be fought, in the name of farstrider. *S* and or the ringer, and of the sir wolfsteppers...

[Ben< The preceeding and following conversations were intermingled.]

Yopo< It is strange to know people sometimes without putting a face to a familiar name. Odd, that I have come to know some well, without even knowing age, gender, etc. A different kind of knowing. Folks not accustomed to cyberspace often think that very strange ...

Sprinkles< Yopo: Yeah, like this would be ... darn (forgot what they call it); I think automatic writing from spirits with some good dialogue. *S*

Yopo< Sprinkles: *S* Funny you should mention automatic writing. I was looking at a website awhile back about just that. People doing automatic writing on computers. 21st Century spiritualism. *S* There was also some stuff about people attempting to communicate with the departed via some sorta chat program involving a random number generator, Electronic Voice Phenomenon, etc.

Sprinkles< Yopo: Oh, how interesting. It amazes me of all the possibilities.

Yopo< It got me wondering about the possibility of a dream, wherein the dreamer dreams he or she is at the computer in a chat room. A strange thought.

Sprinkles< Yopo: Errrr, yeah, strange. LOL Only kidding. Maybe the dream being the person fell asleep at the PC ? tee, hee

Yopo< Those of us who have spent much time doing what we are now doing ... well, you would assume that would eventually become a part of the dream environment, wouldn't you? So, the big question: If that ever DOES happen, should I attempt to register my nick? *LOL*

LEGS< *laughing* Yopo, of course ... it is YOU. *s*

Sprinkles< LOL @ Yopo. You go first. LMHO

Yopo< I don't know. It might scare me if I got a message saying my nick was already registered ...

Ben< Yopo: Don't be scared ... your nic *is* already registered. *smile*

Yopo< Ben: *S* Ah, I sincerely hope so. I DO think sometimes about the Internet as a sort of ... metaphor? ... for something else. This new way we get ourselves into one another's heads at a distance. A curious thought, just on the edge of my mind where I can't quite get a grip on it ...

Ben< Yopo: The Internet is a very good metaphor for spirit communications -- and it may be more than that. I've called for and used something like a search engine.

Yopo< Ben: Really? My earlier comments about "dream-chat" were actually half-serious. If some actual means of communication were to appear within a dream, I would half-expect it to take a familiar form. The chat form has become pretty familiar to many of us.

Ben< Yopo: Sure. Internet and computer formats are a language that can appear in dreams and be used in communication. As a confirmed Macintosh user, I've got a lot of memories and stories and associated links mentally organized in file-folders ... still need a better "find file" utility ...

Sprinkles< Yopo & Ben: Sort of like those tapes people play when they retire at night to learn languages or self improvement through the sub-conscious? But how would it work through the PC ?

LEGS< Yopo: At first I felt that the chat was like a big party and I was shy about mixing in ... but now, when I'm away a few days, I miss the Internet chatting badly ... like going to the coffee shop every day for a few years and then not able to make it ... leaves a void somehow. I have many net friends now that I include in my prayers regularly, and cry with and rejoice with ...

Yopo< LEGS: Oh, yes. Cyberspace and on-line chat may happen in a place we cannot quite define, but the inhabitants are VERY real. *S* Some of my closest friends are in there, as you know. It is strange. With ... Oh, you know. Some who are gone now, I have known primarily through Internet connections. Their absence from here is no less an emptiness than their absence from the 3D world.

Sprinkles< Yopo: I can relate to that, missing a presence when in fact they were not there physically.

Yopo< Sprinkles: We were thinking mainly about computers and chat as internalized formats that might be utilized internally as symbolic tools. Leastwise, that was how I was thinking. If you have a dream where you're in a chatroom and see my nick, send me a PM ... *G*

Sprinkles< Yopo: I can't PM too good -- it always shows or it flies off somewhere.

Yopo< Sprinkles: Somewhere? *LOL* Don't get me started. Long time back, when the PM function was hit-or-miss, FE and I put forth the theory that mis-sent PMs appear as mysterious skywriting in an alternate universe ...

Sprinkles< Yopo: You have to be kidding me. All those mis-typed errors are out there somewhere and may be seen? Dang, I am in Trouble with a capital T. I couldn't get the PM down right, so I was practicing, and boy! did they go out. No one saw them ... hmmm ... maybe they did. If you come across them, it's OK, cause I didn't register my nic. LOL

Yopo< Ben: I was relieved SWC was behaving tonight. I was in Friday, and found 60 second refreshes at best ...

LEGS< ((((( Ben )))))))) thanx for the seminar ... been slow to refresh here where I sit typing and gazing down at the Mississippi watching the tugboats maneuvering sets of barges ... from 30 on down to only one at a time ... quite interesting to a gal from a desert community.

Yopo< LEGS: Wow! Nice view out your window. Is there ice on the Mississippi?

LEGS< No ice, Yopo ... which I'm told is unusual for this month ... but not yet ... though the snow clings to the shady side of the streets, and other places like under
the trees where the sun hasn't melted it away.

animalspiritwalk< ((LEGS)): I am curious as to where you may live (state) to view the great Mississippi. Would you be willing to devulge your whereabouts? *S*

LEGS< animalspiritwalk: I live in West Texas but am visiting now in Missouri.

animalspiritwalk< ((LEGS)): I would like to go to Texas sometime, and Missouri, too. Funny thing is, I used to live in Virginia, and could have gone to Missouri then, but never got around to it. *S*

Ben< ALL: Time for bed. Peace and blessings to each of you. *poof*

guitarist< Goodnight, Ben, and thanks for the seminar. This one went really, really well. Abundant blessings on you, and on all who visited tonight. I think I too am going the way of the dreamer.

Yopo< Good night, Ben. Thanks! (I'm going to give some thought to this. The Netscape/Internet Explorer debate may take on a new dimension. *S*) Blessings.

animalspiritwalk< Well, everyone, it's been emotional, and it's been fun. I am going to Babylon for a wee bit before I go to bed. Goodnight to all, and thanks for your support and input. *VBS*

Sprinkles< animalspiritwalk: To you a very good night (perhaps your peeks will be glances tomorrow). *VBS*

animalspiritwalk< *puts bullet away, and evaporates* Bye

Yopo< Here is a scenario I have thought about. Suppose you know someone who has passed on. Suppose you spent many hours before then, talking to that person on the Internet. Suppose, then, that some night you dream that you are at your computer, typing away to people as you have done so often. Would you type a message to that person? Would it be an experiment you might want to try?

[Ben< Yopo: There are many different formats for mental processing, and any of them can be used for spirit communication -- thoughts, words, feelings, images, even graphics, drawings -- like the mental drawing of the Wheel of Karma that I was contemplating when someone far wiser than I am rotated the drawing so the Wheel lay flat, like a millstone, with its axle pointing up and down, and said (by placing words in my mind): "Think of it this way. This is how it works." So, I would say, if you want to try this experiment, go ahead. The URL is the very best memory that you associate with a specific person's name or nickname. While you are remembering it, place (mentally type) the name and a greeting on the mental screen that you look at with your eyes closed -- the screen of the eye of the mind. Post by sending that person your blessing. Love is the link. Then clear the screen and wait for a moment -- for a little while, not a long time, just watch the blank screen to see if words appear on it that you didn't put there. If not, just go about your business and try again later. (If she answers, let me know. *smile*)]

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